Erdogan, a canny politician and a serious proponent of political Islam, sounds all the right notes to reassure Europe about his plans to outlaw adultery in what has come to be known as secular Turkey. From Reuters, with thanks to Nicolei:
ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has defended plans to outlaw adultery that have outraged
women’s groups and raised eyebrows in the European Union, which Turkey aspires to join.
In an interview published on Saturday in the Sabah newspaper, Erdogan said the plans were aimed at buttressing the family, and that Turkey must not always blindly imitate Europe.
“The family is a sacred institution for us. The stronger the family, the stronger the country. If the family is weakened, that country is doomed to destruction,” said Erdogan, a pious Muslim whose party has roots in political Islam.
He vowed that any new law would respect privacy and would be applied only if either the wife or the husband lodged a formal complaint. No third party would be able to invoke the law.
Turkish newspapers and women’s groups have criticised the plan, saying it pushes Turkey away from European norms and closer to the Islamic model of states such as Saudi Arabia, where adulterers are put to death.