Turkey, women against Erdogan, "no" to ban on abortion

Islamic vs. secular factions, abortion is murder for PM

04 June, 17:59

(ANSAmed) - ANKARA, JUNE 4 - Abortion is the reason for a new dispute in Turkey between the suporters of the secular republic founded by "the father of the Country" Mustafa Kemal "Atataurk" 90 years ago and the nationalist Islamic government led by the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who, according to his opponents, is carrying out "a blatant Islamisation" of the country. Women's right associations are on the front line of the heated dispute opened by Erdogan, who stated that abortion is "murder", part of a "plot" aimed at decreasing the country's birth rate and hinder its transformation into a regional power; Erdogan also announced that the law on abortion is soon to be repealed. The law has been in force since 1983 and allows abortion until the 10th week of pregnancy. On Sunday, thousands of women were demonstrating on the streets in Istanbul in order to speak out against the Prime Minister's intentions and claim their right to abortion "it's my body, it's my right!", they cried while they were marching in the heart of the Bosporus megalopolis, where Erdogan used to be the mayor. "It was", Posta reported, "the most important demonstrations of women in the history of Turkey". The Diyanet, the directorate for religious affairs, is supposed to issue a "fatwa" against abortion soon.

The country, Vatan warns, is turning into "a state based on religion". During a meeting of the Province's muftis, Turkey's most authoritative religious authority, the Diyanet's Director Mehmet Gormez, said that "the mother is not the owner of the foetus. She cannot kill it arbitrarily. She has the duty to take care of it, protect it, keep it alive." The highest ranks of Erdogan's pary, the AKP, suggested to ban abortion even in case of rape. "Killing an unborn child in the mother's womb is a crime even worse than rape", stated Ayhan Sefer Ustun, the President of the Parliament's Human Rights Commission. The Healthcare Minister Recep Akdag specified that the state could take care of children born from rapes. "The conception of women as mere breeding instruments is typical of totalitarian and Fascist movements", the Deputy Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (CHP) Perihan Sari thundered. And even the leader of the secular nationalist right (MHP, literally "the Grey Wolves") Vural Oktay replied that ''a mindset where rape is considered a means for reproduction is just scary". Erdogan's reform plan, which might lead to a new law by the end of the summer, might include two options; either a total ban on abortion or a restriction to the fourth week, that is, the moment when "life is poured" into foetuses according to several Islamic thinkers. Erdogan's AKP has the majority in Parliament and is able to vote on the draft text that suits the party better. However, AKP is at risk of creating another deep gap against "the old" secular Turkey and the emerging, Islamic country, driven by the revival of the most traditional Anatolia and its "Tigers", the SMEs currently driving the current Turkish economic "miracle".(ANSAmed).

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