Erdogan: Of course women aren't equal to men

In case you were looking for an actual “war on women” as opposed to some fictional hysteria constructed for the entertainment of daytime cable news soap operas, you might want to take a look at Turkey. The new president of our “ally” in the region near Syria, Tayyip Erdogan, decided to opine on the subject of gender relations this week and he really wasn’t worried about mincing words.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said women cannot be treated as equal to men, and has accused feminists of rejecting motherhood.

“You cannot put women and men on an equal footing,” he told a meeting in Istanbul. “It is against nature.”

He also said feminists did not grasp the importance of motherhood in Islam.

His comments often seek to appeal to his pious core supporters, says the BBC’s Mark Lowen in Istanbul, but they anger more liberal voters.

Turks who have more secular views argue that the government’s social policies are taking the country in a dangerous direction, our correspondent says.

Mr Erdogan has previously urged women to have three children, and has lashed out against abortion and birth by Caesarean section.

See? We can all find some common ground if you just dig deep enough. Wait… did that guy just say he’s opposed to C-sections?

This is the direction that Turkey is taking these days, and I find myself yet again wondering why we’re keeping them in the stable as an ally. After a period of very promising relations in the months and years following the September 11th attacks, the former Ottoman Empire has been swerving further and further out of the mainstream and is increasingly seen as more a part of the problems than of the solution. Erdogan is the same guy who decided to introduce himself on the international stage by saying that Israel was worse than Hitler. (That may have been a subtle hint for everyone before he even took office.) While everyone else was supposedly focused on fighting ISIS, Erdogan seemed to be far more interested in fighting the Kurds. And when it comes to questions of disputes with the Russians, Turkey’s president has left little doubt as to where he stands. He’s besties for forever with his buddy Vladimir Putin.

Erdogan’s attitude toward women is not some new, shocking signpost on the road of international politics. It’s quite typical of his attitude, and reveals just how loyal progressives should be toward leaders who brand their administrative duties with this particular flavor of Islam ahead of any sort of respect for order or the establishment of a true nation of laws which serve the people. Of course, he may just be caught up in his own view of history, which includes believing that Muslims discovered the Americas more than 300 years before Christopher Colombus.