Turkish PM: Where there are women, there is democracy

Saturday, March 08, 2014

PM marks a `sad` International Women`s Day held amid suffering endured by women in violence-hit Muslim countries

PM marks a `sad` International Women`s Day held amid suffering endured by women in violence-hit Muslim countries

ISTANBUL - There are still some groups today who want to hijack the popular will just like they did in the past, Turkey`s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.

Erdogan urged women to protect their democratic rights during an address in Istanbul as part of International Women`s Day.

He called the day a "sad March 8" as he referred to suffering endured by women in violence-hit Muslim countries such as Egypt, Syria and Somalia.

"Where there are women, there is democracy," Erdogan said, recalling the exploits of women in a southern Turkish village during the general election of 1947.

The prime minister said that women in the village of Arslankoy in the southern province of Mersin had protected the electoral polls as the "state party", as he called the CHP, sent security officials to manipulate the votes.

He warned that there are still some groups who want to hijack the popular will and called on women to regard the women of Arslankoy as an example.

"No longer do newspaper headlines run this country. Neither do corporations, or mischief-makers from Pennsylvania," said Erdogan, referring to the U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Erdogan accuses a movement led by Gulen of forming a "parallel state" to plot against his government.

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