Probe opened over Turkish billionaire Ağaoğlu’s sexist rhetoric in BBC documentary
ISTANBULAn investigation has been opened into Ali Ağaoglu, the billionaire head of the Ağaoglu Group construction company, over sexist comments he made in a recently broadcast documentary on the BBC.
In one episode of the documentary, in which British TV presenter Simon Reeve travels around Turkey, he visits Ağaoğlu in his Istanbul home. After asking whether a group of bags belongs to Ağağolu, the real estate mogul responds: “No, these are not mine. But the [women] who use them are my property.”
His words drew condemnation from women’s rights NGOs, as well as main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Manisa deputy Tur Yıldız Biçer, who said she had applied to a prosecutor over his “insulting” language.
“As a woman MP, I’m surprised at those who remain silent against such a lack of manners. How can Ali Ağaoğlu dare refer to women as ‘property’? I feel ashamed at the representation of Turkey by Ağaoğlu. He has given an open example of how humanity and morals are not things that can be bought with money,” Biçer said.
She also recalled a previous controversial statement about women from Ağaoğlu in 2016.
“Previously, this man said ‘I don’t like one-night stands. If I did, there would be no women left in Istanbul.’ He has now also sullied Turkey’s prestige with statements about the queen of Kuwait,” she added, referring to other statements in the BBC documentary in which Ağaoğlu cursed while talking about the queen of Kuwait.
Ağaoğlu had previously been probed by prosecutors over his comments on one-night stands in an interview with private broadcaster CNN Türk back in April 2016.