Turkish PM tells female reporter to 'know your place'

2014-08-08 21:50
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Istanbul - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan faced new questions on Friday over his attitude to the media and women after he branded a prominent female journalist a "shameless woman" and told her "to know your place".

Just ahead of Sunday's presidential election which he is clear favourite to win, Erdogan savaged Amberin Zaman, who writes for the Economist and the Turkish daily Taraf, over comments she made in a television debate.

She had asked the main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu in the debate whether any Muslim society was capable of challenging its authorities.

Erdogan lashed out at Zaman, without mentioning her directly by name, at an election rally in the eastern city of Malatya on Thursday, calling her a "shameless woman".

"A militant in the guise of a journalist, a shameless woman... Know your place!" he declared.

"They gave you a pen and you are writing a column in a newspaper... and you insult a society that is 99% Muslim," he said, drawing loud boos from the crowd.

This is not the first time Erdogan has lashed out at journalists, who have come under increasing pressure in Turkey, which has more reporters behind bars than any other country in the world.

The Economist released a statement in response to the salvo, saying its correspondent of 15 years was "widely respected".

"We stand firmly by her and her reporting. The intimidation of journalists has no place in a democracy. Under Mr Erdogan, Turkey has become an increasingly difficult place for independent journalism," the statement said.

Zaman responded to Erdogan through her column in the Taraf newspaper, headlined: "Be a human first!"

"You are lynching a Muslim woman who described what you are doing. Because women are sitting targets, aren't they?"

She said she had been the target of a smear campaign by pro-government media outlets, who had called her a "Jewish bitch" who should become a "concubine" of Islamist jihadists in Iraq.

Erdogan, a pious Muslim who has led the Islamic-rooted ruling party since 2002, has come under strong criticism from Western politicians and rights groups for his crackdown on the media.

The US-based watchdog Freedom House downgraded the status of Turkey's media from "partly free" to "not free" in May.

The government's attitude towards women is also under heavy scrutiny after Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc caused a furore by suggesting women should not laugh loudly in public.

But Erdogan remains the hot favourite to win Sunday's election and become head of state, with the main question being if he will win outright in the first round.

Read more on:    recep tayyip erdogan  |  turkey

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.