Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-02-12-Speech-1-148"

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"Mr President, I should like to congratulate Mrs Bozkurt wholeheartedly for her excellent and important report, one which I feel is even more important because it comes from a brave European woman of Turkish origin who knows and understands the special circumstances and norms of a Turkish, Islamic, partly secular and partly fundamentalist society. Looking back many years ago, women in Turkish society were regarded more as objects than human beings. They have suffered enormously and it is only in recent years that this sad situation is beginning to be remedied. But although steps have been taken in the right direction, there is still very much that needs to be done. It is my view in fact that progress is not as much as we would have hoped for. Indeed, in large parts of Turkey, especially in the south-east, women are still treated as second-class citizens and are grossly discriminated against. Illiteracy amongst Turkish women is at record levels for a European-orientated country. Additionally, the degree and extent of violence against women is still unacceptably high and unfortunately is in many cases accepted as the norm by large sections of Turkish society. The despicable criminal and offensive activity of honour killings still happens only too regularly in Turkish villages and cities. It is true that the Turkish Government is making some efforts to correct matters. For example, much attention has been focused recently on better education for women and on educating the police and the judiciary in order to deal more appropriately with violence against women. A country-wide information campaign and stricter implementation of the law are taking place, but are not having the desired effect, because drastic changes also have to happen at a core political level. Prime Minister Erdogan himself recently drew attention to the ‘deep state’ in Turkey that is opposing his Government’s reforms and is fighting against parliamentary democracy. This deep state, supported mainly by the army and other extreme nationalist elements, is impeding progress in Turkey – and incidentally, Mrs Resetarits – is keeping Turkish Cypriots isolated and Cyprus divided. Such forces do not want liberated women equal in all respects to men. It is our duty to support this report and bring liberation to Turkish women."@en1

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