Turkey’s new PM Ahmet Davutoğlu’s wife an anti-abortion gynecologist

Turkey’s new PM Ahmet Davutoğlu’s wife an anti-abortion gynecologist

Turkey’s new PM Ahmet Davutoğlu’s wife an anti-abortion gynecologist

Ahmet and Sare Davutoğlu pose in front of the Mostar Bridge in Bosnia in this 2009 dated AA photo.

While Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu will succeed President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as Turkey’s new prime minister after nearly 12 years in charge, his wife, Sare Davutoğlu, will take over from the very influential Emine Erdoğan.

Sare Davutoğlu has been very discreet since her husband was nominated as Turkey’s top diplomat in 2009, aside from one: A gynecologist by profession, she is known for her vocal anti-abortion views.  

She actively takes part in a number of social campaigns against abortion, supporting bans and restrictions on its practice. The abortion regime in Turkey had long been relatively liberal, but more conservative approaches have been voiced in the last year, particularly after Erdoğan declared that each abortion was “an Uludere,” in reference of the military strike near the southeastern village of Roboski in 2011 that killed 34 civilians. His words had triggered fears of more backlash regarding women’s rights, as domestic violence and murders of women have recently shown a worrisome increase.

Sare Davutoğlu still continues to practice her profession in a private clinic in Istanbul. Among her patients is Erdoğan’s elder daughter, Esra Albayrak.

The Davutoğlu couple met at university and married while they were both studying their postgraduate degrees in Istanbul and had four children. Her husband was once quoted as saying she was the minister at home. “I am the one who is looked after,” Ahmet Davutoğlu said.

During Davutoğlu’s meteoric career in Ankara, Sare Davutoğlu had preferred remaining in the shadows in Istanbul while working. “Ankara can seem comfortable, but you are drawn to into a process that you cannot control. You become known even when you don’t want to be,” adding their home in Istanbul had become a refuge for her.

“I feel comfortable and free in my home in Istanbul; it feels like a setting I have command of,” she said.