A debate in Turkey over abortion is growing increasingly heated. But, unlike earlier controversies sparked by the Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party’s reform initiatives, the opposing camps in the abortion battle do not necessarily fall along secular-versus-religious lines.
Abortion until the tenth week of gestation has been legal in Turkey since 1983. Yet last month, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stridently criticized abortion as tacitly unpatriotic, and the Ministry of Health subsequently indicated that the window of opportunity for abortions could be reduced to as little as four weeks after conception.
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Constanze Letsch is a freelance writer based in Istanbul.