By Vugar Khalilov
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that there will be zero tolerance to violence against women in the country, Yeni Shafak newspaper has reported.
The president made the remarks at the “Women on the Road to Great Turkey” meeting in Eskisehir held after several openings and events in the city.
Erdogan said that the government, which has been fighting the problem for years, has drawn up a roadmap and announced a comprehensive action plan in June related to the issue.
He added that the Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centers (SONIM), which had been established in 81 provinces, work to solve problems in this sphere.
Highlighting their importance in the fight against violence, Erdogan described SONIMs as one of the structures that the government had established to strengthen the coordination on the issue.
“We took one more step to strengthen this structure even more and established contact points for 372 social service centers of our Ministry of Family and Social Services. These contact points will allow us to address this issue more widely by working in conjunction with SONIMs. We are also determined to fight violence against women to the end," he stressed.
Emphasizing that they realize their dreams of a big and strong Turkey with all the members of the nation, without making any distinction between men and women, Erdogan said: "We design and implement every vision and every project for the future of our country together with you."
He stressed that women in Turkey made the most progress especially in education, production, employment, politics, and social life during his tenure as prime minister.
"I am expressing this assertively, we have established the infrastructure, provided the opportunities and removed the obstacles that will enable our women from all walks of life to realize their potential for themselves, their families, their cities, and their country. The distance that especially our women have covered in the field of education and production is truly an expression of historical success,” Erdogan underlined.
Stating that there is still a long way to go, Erdogan said that he sees no obstacles for being more hopeful for the future and setting bigger goals.
“The first party in our country to establish a truly institutional and effective organization of women's branches is the AK Party. In addition to politics, I have always stood by the struggle of our women to take the place they deserve in bureaucracy and the business world. I supported every step that made women become independent entrepreneurs, independent producers, and independent business persons, rather than just an element of the family business. In our country, from teachers to academics, from bankers to judges, our women have a representation level close to their rate in the population," he underlined.
Erdogan noted that while supporting women in all areas of life, their position in the family, especially as mothers, should not be neglected.
"We are determined to support our women more in terms of their position in the family as well as in the education and production process. Some perverted minds may see the place of women in other areas of life as alternatives to each other. As in the West, we will not leave the square to those who are eager to transform women into a commodity under the name of liberating women. We see men and women as comrades who struggle together in every aspect of life,” he stressed.
Furthermore, Erdogan said that the government attaches great importance to the participation of disabled people in society and economic life, reminding that they enacted the law on the disabled, the first framework regulation on the subject, in 2005.
He added that Turkey was one of the first countries to sign the convention on the rights of the disabled in 2007, and the Ministry of Family and Social Services continues its efforts to overcome all kinds of difficulties faced by the disabled.
The Turkish president added that the government employs disabled citizens in the public sector or supports them to set up their own businesses.
"Our disabled citizens have different types of disability, we know this. In this context, we started to focus on thematic applications according to the type of disability related to our disabled citizens,” he said.
Erdogan also noted that the Cooperative Law, which will facilitate the establishment of cooperatives for women and disabled people, has just been passed by the Parliament. He added that the law brings positive discrimination to the cooperatives mostly made up of women, and consist of disabled people.
He said that certain cooperatives are exempt from some payment obligations such as registration and announcement fees at the trade registry directorate during the establishment phase and during its activity.
Commenting on the activities of Women Counseling Centers, Erdogan said that these centers play an important role in increasing women's participation in social life by supporting their access to social, cultural, professional, and sports activities.
Stating that the Ministry of Family and Social Services continues to expand these centers, Erdogan said that some municipalities have established structures that carry out similar activities as well.
Erdogan stressed that the government needs the contribution of every citizen, both male and female, on the path of Turkey's development and growth.
"When we exclude women from our development cause, we lose half of our potential. However, every effort, every idea, every person means a lot to us. With this understanding, we have given and continue to give the greatest support in our history to our women entrepreneurs," he underlined.
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