Singer-turned-AKP candidate slammed over sexism

Singer-turned-AKP candidate slammed over sexism

Singer-turned-AKP candidate slammed over sexism

DHA Photo

Though best-known for turning a Central Asian folk song into a campaign jingle for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), newly minted AKP candidate Uğur Işılak’s areas of expertise have been shown to extend into the realm of relationship advice given the singer’s 2012 comments saying “it is in women’s nature to belong to men.”

“In her heart, if every feminist does not have the feeling of being chained to a husband or a man, being his slave … or belonging to him, she should come and face me because this is in the nature of every woman,” Işılak said during a TV program on pro-government channel Ülke TV in June 2012, according to Radikal.

The comments attracted anger at the time they were first made, and the reposting of the video in the wake of Işılak’s nomination has again touched off a storm of opprobrium and derision on social media.

“Acting as if this isn’t the case is against nature, and such people are definitely not happy. I don’t think that those feminists are happy because it is in a woman’s nature to be tied and belong [to a man],” he said.

“A man does not belong to a woman – he owns her,” he said. “I own you; you belong. This is the difference. If we neglect this, we can’t find order or harmony in relationships.”

Işılak, who was best known for converting the Central Asian folk tune “Dombra” into a campaign song for Erdoğan during the 2014 local elections, was named as a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate for Istanbul’s 3rd electoral district on April 7. In his interpretation of “Dombra,” Işılak extols Erdoğan as the “feared nightmare of the oppressor,” “the light of hope of millions” and “the leader awaited for years.”

The singer-turned-politician comments echoed the president’s views on women, with Erdoğan telling a women’s group last November that gender equality was against nature. Erdoğan has also frequently instructed women to produce at least three children while exalting motherhood at the same time as he lamented that one could not reason on the matter with feminists. 

Last year, Erdoğan brought the Turkish word “fıtrat” (nature) – also the word used by Işılak in his 2012 interview – into greater quotidian parlance by consoling grieving families following the May 13 Soma mine disaster that it was in the “fıtrat” of mining for workers to die in accidents.