Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech marking the International Women's Day during the 21st Women Workers' Grand Convention of metal unions in capital Ankara, Turkey on March 08, 2016.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech marking the International Women's Day during the 21st Women Workers' Grand Convention of metal unions in capital Ankara, Turkey on March 08, 2016. Ahmet Izgi—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Turkey's Erdogan Says 'A Woman Is Above All a Mother'

Mar 08, 2016

During a speech marking International Women's Day, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he believes "above all else" women are mothers.

“I know there will be some who will be annoyed, but for me a woman is above all a mother,” Erdogan told told an audience of women in Ankara, reports AFP. He also urged the audience to "protect the family" and blamed the capitalist system for “enslaving” women for profits.

“You cannot free women by destroying the notion of family,” said Erdogan.

Erdogan's views on women have long been criticized by rights advocates. The Turkish president has previously said that women are not equal to men, called the promotion of birth control "treason," urged Turkish women to have at least three children, and proposed limits to abortion rights and Caesarean sections.

[AFP]

TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.