The Corner

State-Sanctioned Polygamy Back in Turkey

Don’t think Turkey has changed? Prime Minister Erdoğan has appointed Ali Yüksel as an adviser. The problem is that Yüksel has three wives, and is about to take a fourth. Polygamy has been illegal in Turkey since 1926, but in Erdoğan’s Turkey, Erdoğan’s interpretation of the Quran trumps the Turkish law that he swore to protect.  

Meanwhile, women — who once held high positions in the Turkish power structure up to and including the premiership — are now hardly represented in the top three tiers of the civil service, and their numbers are declining further as Erdoğan institutionalizes gender discrimination in parallel to inciting religious hatred.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.


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