MOSCOW, November 24 (Sputnik) –During a speech in Istanbul on women and justice, Erdoğan said men and women were created differently, that women cannot be expected to undertake the same work as men and that mothers enjoy a high position that only they could reach, reports The Guardian.
He further said that feminists do not understand the special status that Islam attributes to mothers.
He said: “You cannot put women and men on an equal footing. It is against nature. They were created differently. Their nature is different. Their constitution is different.”
"In the workplace, you cannot treat a man and a pregnant woman in the same way," he said, according to the BBC.
Women cannot do all the work done by men, he added, because it was against their "delicate nature".
"Our religion regards motherhood very highly," he said. "Feminists don't understand that, they reject motherhood."
He said women needed equal respect rather than equality.
Erdoğan also stated that justice was the solution to most of the world's issues — including racism, anti-Semitism, and "women's problems".
Erdoğan's comments often appeal to his core supporters, but they anger more liberal voters, as stated by BBC.
Turks who have more secular views argue that the government's social policies are taking the country in a dangerous direction. Erdoğan has previously insisted that women should have three children, and has lashed out against abortion and birth by Caesarean section.