Erdoğan slams Europe over ‘headscarf ban’

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (C) arrives to attend a ceremony marking the 79th death anniversary of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, at the mausoleum for Ataturk, in Ankara, on November 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday strongly criticized European countries over headscarf bans, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

“The headscarf ban is becoming widespread in Europe. Muslim women are being prevented from participating in daily life by making distinction a between private and public life as once was done in our country. An understanding to confine Muslim women to their homes has spread like a virus,” said Erdoğan, speaking at a women’s certification program organized by the Family and Social Policy Ministry at the Presidential Palace in Ankara.

“The employment and education of headscarved women is limited on a significant scale in many European countries today. Unfortunately those who try to teach us democracy and human rights have been applauding the violation of basic human rights in their countries,” added Erdoğan.

Erdoğan had called on Muslims to get married and increase their numbers: “We should not stand back. The number of Muslims must be increased. I take the sensitivity of Muslim women very seriously. A terrorist organization [the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)] in Turkey has at least five, 10 or 15 children.”

Erdoğan has been center of criticism over a purge and witch-hunt targeting his opposition following a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

More than 17,000 women, the majority of whom wear a headscarf, have been jailed along with 668 infants in an unprecedented crackdown and subjected to torture and ill-treatment in detention centers and prisons as part of the government’s systematic campaign of intimidation and persecution of critics and opponents, a new report titled “Jailing Women In Turkey: Systematic Campaign of Persecution and Fear” released in April by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) revealed.

 

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