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European right-wingers launch attack on Turkiye’s new family minister

June 7, 2023 at 10:05 am

Turkish Minister of Family and Social Services Mahinur Ozdemir Goktas talks to press members prior to statements of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (not seen) made following the first cabinet meeting with the attendance of new cabinet members at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkiye on June 06, 2023 [Aytaç Ünal – Anadolu Agency]

European politicians and members of right-wing parties launched a massive attack on the new Turkish Minister of Family and Social Services, Mahinur Ozdemir Goktas, because of her hijab.

The new minister, who held the position of ambassador to Algeria, also holds Belgian citizenship, as she was raised in Europe and in 2009 became the first headscarf-wearing lawmaker in a Belgian parliamentary assembly.

Assita Kanko, a member of the European Parliament for the far-right New Flemish Alliance Party, launched an attack on Goktas, considering that her victory “reinforces the subjugation of women based on Islamic values.”

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Referencing Goktas time as a member of Belgium’s government, Kanko said “she did nothing other than promote the headscarf and deny the Armenian genocide in the 10 years she was in the Brussels parliament.”

“Now she can further promote her misogynistic ideas, but in Erdogan’s Turkey. I think she’s at least consistent,” noting it was a shame that “Erdogan’s voters live in Belgium although they do not share our values.”

For his part, Killian Etienne, a French lawyer, attacked the minister saying that her assumption of a ministerial position in Turkeiye was the result of “exaggerated tolerance with regard to granting dual nationality to immigrants of other origins as well as similar rights.”

Mahinur was born in 1982 in Brussels to a family of Turkish origin. She graduated in economics and political science, then became the first veiled parliamentarian in Europe.

In 2019, she was awarded the Order of Leopold award in the same year to honour her efforts in the social and humanitarian fields. In 2020, she assumed the position of Turkish ambassador to Algeria, before assuming her new position as Minister of Family and Social Services in the new Turkish government.

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