Turkish imam targets women, says they look like 'walking flesh'

A Turkish imam has targeted women by expressing that they look like "walking flesh," in an implication that they do not cover their bodies. In the face of these comments, women’s organizations demanded the imam’s dismissal.

Duvar English

Halil Konakçı, the imam of Melike Hatun Mosque located in Ankara, has targeted women walking on street by comparing them to "meat in butcher shops." 

“The streets are like a butcher shop. We're disgusted by seeing flesh now. Why? Don’t these women have fathers, brothers, husbands? Aren't you jealous at all? Don't you ever have a conscience when your daughter or wife go out on the street like that and share a video?” Konakçı said in comments targeting women and implying that they do not wear headscarves and cover their bodies.

Konakçı’s speech stirred a huge reaction on social media, with women’s organizations demanding his dismissal from duty.

Turkey's Women Associations Federation Chairwoman (TKDF) Canan Güllü told the daily Cumhuriyet: “Since the head of the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) has recently started to engage in politics, I think the imams and muezzins of that institution mandatorily hold themselves responsible for this issue [referring to their making comments]."

"While the Qur'an shows the equality of men and women, these individuals spread venom with their language of inequality,” Güllü stated.

Güllü also urged Diyanet to dismiss the imam in question. 

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Gamze Taşçıer also stated that legal action must be taken against the imam but that Diyanet will probably not take any action as has been the case before.

“There is no need to ask if an investigation will be launched. No action was taken against this person who had similarly spread hatred before. Those who see women as walking flesh will continue to have courage as long as they are not punished,” Taşçıer added.