Male-dominated Parliament of Turkey has witnessed a rare moment of protest staged by a female opposition deputy after verbal attacks from the ranks of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) infuriated her.
During a General Assembly session that extended to evening hours on Aug. 12, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Aylin Nazlıaka, known for her women’s rights activism, took the rostrum after introducing a bill to the General Assembly agenda. If the bill passed, thousands of domestic violence victims who stay in women’s shelters would be able to vote.
“Due to the policies that you impose on the woman body; even on what women wear, what women eat, which color of lipstick they use, whether pregnant women can walk on the streets or not, whether laughters of women stain chastity and whether women and men should dance horon [a traditional Black Sea folk dance] together or not, have all become matters of discussion at this point. Even getting mixed-sex education has become a matter of debate. And you are responsible,” said an apparently frustrated Nazlıaka.
“You know how three of our women are killed each day and you know there is a 40 percent increase in violence against women. Those who dictate women how to act are the ones who encourage those murderers,” Nazlıaka said.
“Do not look at far away, I am talking about you. You are the ones who encourage those murderers,” she added, looking at the direction where AKP deputies were seated. Upon verbal attacks, Nazlıaka continued:
“I swear to God, the devil in me tells me to take off my shoe and hurl it at you. But I take a look at my shoe and then I take a look at you; and frankly, I say, ‘It doesn’t worth.’ Yes, it doesn’t worth.”
Nazlıaka’s words triggered even a harsher response from the ruling party deputies. Eventually, her proposal was rejected by the Parliament where the AKP holds the majority.