Namik Tan, Turkey’s ambassador to the U.S. and the chief spin artist for the Islamist and anti-Semitic government in Ankara, tweets first that “In Turkey, women’s suffrage was first recognized in 1930, earlier than many other European countries such as France, Spain and Belgium,” and second that “In Turkey, women make up 39% of academicians, 44% of undergraduate and 46.8 of postgraduate students are women.”
Alas, Tan forgot many more recent statistics:
- The murder rate of women has increased 1,400 percent under the current government.
- Only two of Turkey’s 26 ministers are women; those two cover education and women’s affairs.
- None of the ruling party’s undersecretaries are women.
- Only 3.5 percent of deputy undersecretaries are women.
- Less than 6 percent of director-generals are women.
- Less than 0.5 percent of regional directors are women.
- Just over 2 percent of provincial directors are women.
- None of the top finance officials are women.
- None of the top Justice Ministry officials are women.
- The UN Development Program ranked Turkey 101 out of 109 in women’s empowerment.
- Turkey boasts 26 women’s shelters; not good for a country of more than 70 million.
- 37 percent of Turkish marriages involve child brides.
Women were once equal in Turkey, but Prime Minister Recep Tayyip “I am the Imam of Istanbul” Erdoğan has reversed course. Tan may promote Turkey’s progressive past as a public-relations strategy, but this is dishonest. When it comes to the present, the situation of women in Turkey is comparable not to that in Europe but rather to that in Iran or Egypt.