Erdogan’s madness replaces the veiled minister with another woman, but without a hijab
Via the veiled minister, yes to a new head of the Family Department, without a hijab but, above all, a member of the Women’s Association chaired by Sumeyye Erdogan, daughter of the Turkish sultan.
Thus Erdogan, in one fell swoop, gets rid of the minister who had also defended him in the government when Turkey had withdrawn from the Istanbul Convention for the protection of women, makes peace with his daughter who last year had sided in favor of the international pact which, paradoxically, bears the name of the city that promoted it and from which it started.
The Minister of the Family dismissed by Erdogan, Zehra Zümrüt, in one of her tweets, explained the reason for withdrawing from the Convention: “National laws already protect women, starting with our Constitution. Our judicial system is dynamic and strong enough to implement new laws. We do not need the charter against gender violence”. But the numbers say something else. According to a Bianet report, 38% of Turkish women have experienced violence at least once in their life.
In February of this year only, 33 women were killed, victims of violence by their partners. In total, 57 women were victims of violence in February 2021. In 2020, 284 women were killed by men. A report by Sezgin Tanrıkulu, human rights lawyer and parliamentarian for the largest opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), published on the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8, notes that in the last 18 years, from when the AKP is in power, 6,732 women were killed by men.
Since the night of March 17, we are witnessing an unprecedented barrage of slashes against the rule of law and fundamental human rights since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) is in power in Turkey. First, on March 17, there was a request for the banning of the third-largest party in the country, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), accompanied by that of the interdiction of 687 of its members from exercising political activity because they were accused of support for terrorism. Then, on March 19, the withdrawal, by presidential decree, of the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, ratified by Turkey on March 14, 2012, after having signed it on May 11, 2011.
And that same night the Governor of the Central Bank Naci Ağbal was fired. It is the fourth time in 20 months that Erdogan has replaced the president of the highest institution that controls the country’s monetary policy for having expressed an economic idea that is not in line with his unorthodox view of low-interest rates, referred to by critics as “erdoğanomics,” according to which high-interest rates would generate inflation. As is well known, the Turkish leader intends to exercise full control of the Central Bank. Thanks to Erdogan’s madness, the Turkish lira has again fallen almost to historical lows and has recorded a collapse of 15%.
The cancellation from the Turkish system of the Council of Europe Convention on the prevention of violence against women, which was binding on Turkey, had been at the center of the demands of the Islamist and far-right circles that make up the base for more than a year, hard of the militant and electoral base of the AKP and its precious ally, Devlet Bahçeli, president of the Party of the Nationalist Movement (MHP), political formation of the Gray Wolves, with ideological bases in the far-right puranic, xenophobic and anti-Western.
The appeal to gender equality and the promotion of LGBTIQ rights present in the Istanbul Convention has always been indigestible for Turkish conservatives. Erdogan wants to strengthen his ties with even more radical Islamic circles, and extremist groups supporters before the elections scheduled for 2023, but which could be brought forward to this year, are held.
In summary, the Turkish government believes that the Istanbul Convention encourages non-heterosexual orientations and therefore threatens the fundamental institution of the family. Erdogan always insists that Western values are imported and that do not belong to the Turkish tradition and that they should be supplanted by local and national ones, Yerlive Milli. This is why it is dismantling the rule of law and human rights.
The crazy vision of the new Turkey that the head of state talks about is the recovery of local and national values which, according to him, represent the roots of the Turkish-Islamic identity that the Kemalist revolution had repressed, canceled, introducing foreign values. The rebirth of the Ottoman Empire, of which Erdogan professes himself, Sultan, is part of this insane dictatorial policy, comparing himself to Mohammed II.
However, Erdogan’s agenda clashes with the desire for freedom and modernity that has always been expressed by the Turkish people who feel closer to Europe than to Islamic countries. As evidenced by a survey conducted by Metropole last summer which indicates that the overwhelming majority of Turkish public opinion, 63%, was against the exit from the Istanbul Convention and that only 17% say they are in favor. But Erdogan is convinced that he can recover the lost consensus by touching the strings of the nationalist-Islamist identity that had guaranteed him success up to now together with the currents of conservatism-democratic and liberal that in the first phase of the AKP’s life were very present and influential.
The decision to remove the Minister of the Family, with another woman, but without a veil, is a clear sign that Erdogan is losing his mind. He is no longer able to interpret the deep moods of the country and the concerns most felt by the citizens, which are economic and those for democracy, as demonstrated by various surveys and widespread protests.
The Sultan fears that the fierce Turkish LGBTIQ movement could be influenced by what is happening in several European countries, with the recognition of same-sex couples and equal marriage. Gone are the days when the Turkish President expressed himself as a defender of gender rights with these words: “Even homosexuals must be legally protected within the framework of their rights and freedoms”.
Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu recently closed the prestigious LGBTIQ Study Club of the Bosporus because some of its members had drawn the rainbow flag on the Kaaba, the holiest place in Islam. Four of them had been arrested on charges of “insulting religious values”. Soylu called them “perverts” and the rainbow flag has become one of the symbols of the student revolt.
Erdogan’s most valuable government ally, Devlet Bahçeli, recently called the students “terrorists and snakes whose heads must be crushed”. And the Turkish President had, in turn, defined them as ″vandals″ and ″provocateurs, ″ ″wretched young men″ that mothers should keep an eye on. “Don’t listen to lesbians!” Erdogan had advised the women of his party; adding that lesbians are ″incomplete women″, leaving the world in awe.