Turkish lawyer Omar Tuğrul İnançer has drawn the ire of the Turkish Twitterverse after he told state television that the sight of pregnant woman in public is “disgraceful.”
İnançer, who is also a philosopher and author, has stood by his statement despite the outcry. “Omar Tuğrul Inançer” was trending worldwide on Twitter on Thursday over the lawyer’s remarks to Turkish state TV station TRT 1.
“Announcing pregnancy with a flourish of trumpets is against our civility. [They] should not wander on the streets with such bellies. First of all, it is not aesthetic,” İnançer said, according to the Hurriyet Daily News, an English-language Turkish news outlet. “After seven or eight months of pregnancy, future mothers go out their husbands by car to get some fresh air. And they go out in the evening hours. But now, they are all on television. It’s disgraceful. It is not realism, it is immorality.”
İnançer's interviewer was taken aback, telling the lawyer, “May God be pleased with you.”
The lawyer dug himself a deeper hole among Twitter users, after the Turkey’s official state media, Anadolu Agency, quoted him as backing up his remarks.
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“You get married and get pregnant. Okay, you did well. [However], this cannot be singled out as the reason you are swinging your belly. The image is not aesthetic. I am still saying the same thing. Why don’t you understand?” These are venerable things. And venerable things are kept in a respectful way,” he said. “Pregnancy is not made that apparent. Moreover, that’s why young girls are scared of giving birth.”
The comments set off a firestorm of controversy on Twitter, where user @MertAlphan said İnançer should be “castrated” for his remarks. Others voiced their displeasure in Turkish.
Politicians also piled on İnançer, including National Movement Party deputy Mehmet Oktay. Oktay also slammed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s policy on the size of Turkish families.
“[İnançer says] pregnant women on streets are disgraceful. Isn’t it disgraceful when Prime Minister Erdoğan tells [people] to have at least three children or five children?” Oktay said, according to Hurriyet Daily News. “Isn’t it disgraceful when the prime minister bargains with the bride and groom for children?”