Turkey: pregnant women in public 'immoral and unpleasant'

Islamic thinker sparks protests with comments on public TV

25 July, 20:59

    (ANSAmed) - ANKARA, JULY 25 - Islamic thinker Omer Tugrul Inancer in a TV program exhorted pregnant women not to show themselves in public, sparking protests from secular Turks and opposition politicians, Hurriyet online reported.

    ''It is against our civilization to use fanfare to announce a pregnancy. Pregnant women also should not go around in public with those bellies. It's not aesthetic'', Inancer said on public TRT 1 TV channel. ''After seven or eight months, future mothers should only leave the house by car with their husbands to get some fresh air, and only in the evening. Instead we see them all over television. It's unpleasant. This is not realism, it's immorality''. The program presenter thanked him with ''May God listen to you''. Secular Turks immediately took to social media, with #Omer Tugrul Inancer trending instantly. Activists have called for a protest on Istanbul's Istiklal Avenue, near Taksim Square, with a pillow under their clothes in solidarity with pregnant women. ''They must stop interfering with women in this country. If they could, they would rule on the very air they breathe'', thundered Aylin Nazliaka, a Social Democrat.

    ''Inancer says it is unpleasant to see pregnant women on the street. But isn't it unpleasant hearing the premier say women must have at least three children?'' protested secular nationalist Mehmet Oktay, accusing TRT of having become a mere mouthpiece of the Islamic government. Islamist Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan has more than once called on Turkish women to have at least three children in the name of national growth, berating abortion and cesareans. The Grand Mufti, who heads the Religious Affairs Directorate, intervened.

    ''Religion does not call for the isolation of women, pregnant or otherwise. Becoming a mother is a gift from God'', he said. ''However, pregnant women should dress carefully, as all women should, and not wear garments that reveal the belly or the lower back''. (ANSAmed).

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