Işılak, a popular folk singer among Turkey’s conservative population, said during a TV show broadcast on June 14, 2012 that women are men’s slaves, but his controversial remarks have only recently been revealed to the public, quickly attracting harsh reactions on social media platforms.
Criticizing feminists for their views, Işılak also said: “It is in a woman’s nature to feel a sense of belonging. Men do not have such a sense of belonging. Men do not belong to women, they own women.”
Işılak became known to larger segments of the population after he sang “Dombra,” a popular folk song in Central Asia, during the AK Party campaign ahead of local elections held in March of last year.
In a speech in İstanbul on Nov. 24, 2014, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also made similar controversial remarks about the role of women in society, saying, “You cannot bring women and men into an equal position; this is against nature.”
“You cannot subject a pregnant woman to the same working conditions as a man. You cannot make a mother who has to breastfeed her child equal to a man. You cannot make women do everything men do like the communist regimes did. … This is against her delicate nature,” he added.