President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed the hypocritical approach to women's rights, namely, ignoring of the plight of women in some parts of the world. He was addressing an event organized in the capital Ankara by a labor union on Wednesday ahead of International Women's Day.
"We talk about violence against women nowadays but do we really remember the women who suffered violence outside their schools, on the streets, in their classroom?" Erdoğan opened his speech, referring to female victims of a 1997 coup in Turkey.
Before, during and after the coup, women wearing headscarves were subject to blacklisting and were not allowed to attend the schools.
"This was discrimination among women and we see similar scenes in other countries in recent times," the president said, in reference to attacks on headscarf-wearing women by anti-Muslim groups and individuals in the West.
He said Turkey was well advanced in terms of women's rights.
"Our women stand on their own today," the president said.
Criticizing the ignorance of the suffering of women in other countries other than the West by women's rights defenders in the West, Erdoğan said they "didn't hear a word about the thousands of women suffering in Eastern Ghouta" from rights defenders.
He was referring to targeting of civilians in the opposition-held Syrian enclave by pro-Assad forces. At least 810 people including children were killed in attacks in the past few weeks.
"They didn't take action against the massacre of a million people, mostly women and children, in Syria," he added.
Erdoğan stated Turkey, as host of more than 3 million Syrian refugees, has the right to talk about the plight of Syrians.
"They shed crocodile tears while talking about the women and children who drowned in the dark waters of the Mediterranean, they don't reach out to the women oppressed in Myanmar, forced to live in refugee camps," he added.