Erdoğan's gender-segregated university plans aimed at creating obedient women - opposition MP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s plans for all women’s universities are part of an attempt by the government to create educated but obedient women, opposition lawmaker Aylin Nazlıaka said on Wednesday.

The remarks by the chairwoman of Women’s Branches of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) arrive following the publication of Turkey's2021 Annual Presidential Programme in the Official Gazette on Tuesday. The programme includesErdoğan’s plans for Japan-inspired universities geared exclusively for women.

“The ruling (Justice and Development) AKP government has until today, evaluated women through its insistence on three children, and its opposition to abortion, alimony rights and the Istanbul Convention,’’ Dokuz8 news site cited Nazlıaka as saying. “And now it is attempting to create a type of woman that is educated and submissive.’’

The Islamist-rooted government of Erdoğan has also drawn ire for violating the secular principles of Turkey and limiting the civil liberties of women in his 18 years in power. He has called for every woman in the country to have a minimum of three children and proposed limits on abortion rights, and pushed for the country's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, a council of Europe human rights treaty against domestic and gender-based violence.

It is unacceptable to relegate Turkey to the all women’s university system of Japan, which is 50 years behind in the sector, the CHP official said. 

Erdoğan first called on the country’s Higher Education Council (YÖK) - the country's top education body - for the creation of all women’s universities in July of last year,  following a visit to Japan, where 10 percent of higher education institution’s are allotted strictly for the use of female students.