Turkish bars call on TV watchdog to sanction public broadcaster over pregnancy remarks
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
'Announcing pregnancy with a flourish of trumpets [playing the drums in Turkish] is against our civility,' İnançer had said. Some pregnant women protested him taking his words rather literally. AA photoThe Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) has called on Turkey's TV watchdog to sanction the public broadcast station over the controversial remarks of a Sufi thinker on pregnancy during a special show on religion before iftar.
"Announcing pregnancy with a flourish of trumpets is against our civility. [They] should not stroll in the streets with such bellies. First of all, it is not aesthetic," lawyer and Sufi thinker Ömer Tuğrul İnançer had said, adding that he considered the presence of women in public spaces as "immoral."
The TBB said in a statement that İnançer's words offended women and thus violated the Radio and Television Supreme Council's (RTÜK) regulations. "[The statements of the host] transgress the principle of preventing incitement of hatred and statements that humiliate woman and discriminate against them for their gender, thus conflicting with the equality of women and men," the TBB statement read.
"The fact that the proposition that pregnant women should stay at home has no scientific basis and is prejudicial to health also has to be evaluated. The presenter's comments and gestures supporting his statements also show how far of the program is from the principles cited," it added.
Following İnançer's remarks, the presenter of the program had said, "May God be pleased with you" in response.
The incident sparked outrage among women, who expressed their indignation via social media. Several pregnant women participated in demonstrations against İnançer's statements in Istanbul.
The TBB's statement said the public broadcaster should be sentenced under the 8th article of the law regulating radio and television.