Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the government is supporting women with children so they can stay in the workforce.
“We are making positive discrimination for women in working life,” he told a Friday labor union meeting for female workers held in Ankara.
Erdogan’s remarks came as the world gets ready to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8.
During his address, the president referred to the Turkish government’s new incentives for working women announced by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Jan. 8 with the aim of creating a better work-life balance.
“We won’t let employers block women with children from their maternal duties,” said Erdogan.
He said that the government also supported a more active role for women in the labor force, adding: “Children are not obstacles to any work.”
“Strong nations are built by strong families, and women are the guarantee of strong families,” he said.
Erdogan said that women who wanting to launch their own business would be boosted by government loans and subsidies, along with other support for workplaces employing women.
“Hopefully, we will have more women deputies at the parliament after the June general elections,” he added.
“We don’t allow discrimination or injustice against women in workplaces or any limitation in their social life,” he said.
He also lashed out at women’s exposure to violence.
Violence against women has dominated the domestic agenda recently in Turkey after the brutal murder of Ozgecan Aslan, a 20-year-old student killed in the southern province of Mersin in February.
Erdogan harshly criticized those who marginalize and categorize women because of their appearance and clothing.
“Those who ignore women being sold just like property but impose bans on women who cover themselves because of their faith do not have the right to even spell the word ‘women’,” he said, calling such attitudes “the very abuse of women body.”
Erdogan described as “real discriminators” those who take notice of not the victims themselves, but their clothing.
He accused other countries of being “all mouth” regarding women’s rights but doing nothing when it comes to millions of Syrian or Iraqi women refugees “who bear burden of the calamity in their country.”
“I never consider a country to be ‘power’ if it does not respect human life,” he added.
Erdogan points to ‘interest rate lobby’ for historic lira slide
The Turkish lira’s historic dip against the dollar is due to the efforts of the ‘ interest rate lobby,’ PresidentErdogan has said.
” Interest rate lobby is working, but will be disappointed,”Erdogan told reporters Friday in capital Ankara.
The lira has recorded multiple all-time lows against the dollar over the week, with a dollar buying 2.6 liras on Friday.
Erdogan has criticized Central Bank Governor Erdem Basci for not lowering interest rates, which thepresident claimed was one of the reasons preventing the growth of investments and stifling the economy.Erdogan went so far as to question Basci’s allegiances, saying: “You’re independent to us but are you dependent to some other place?”
Erdogan said today he’ll meet Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Central Bank Chairman Erdem Basci after Babacan’s return from the U.S.
Erdogan green light to ex-president standing as MP
Turkish President Erdogan welcomed on Friday the possible candidacy of his predecessor Abdullah Gulin the upcoming parliamentary elections.
“The issue of candidacy is of course Mr Gul’s decision,” Erdogan told reporters after Friday prayers in the capital Ankara. “A decision to that end (to stand) would be good.”
Gul is among the founders of the ruling Justice and Development Party along with Erdogan. Rumors of his return to the party ahead of the June 7 elections had been rejected last month by AK Party spokesperson Besir Atalay. Gul had earlier hinted that he would make a comeback to the “movement that I helped launch.”
In 2002, Gul was the first prime minister of the AK Party’s twelve-year rule, acting in that capacity for a mere five months before leaving the office to Erdogan, the most prominent leader of the AK Party movement.
Though they have their differences on issues such as security versus freedoms, and expressed different opinions regarding the Gezi Park anti-government protests in 2013, Gul andErdogan have a long history of comradeship as the two leading figures in the Turkish political arena. Rumors of discord between them have been denied more than once by way of mutual gestures and common statements of agreement.