In 1991, surveys of Egyptian women showed that 80% of them stated beatings by their husbands were justified by their behavior while 50% of Turkish women accepted this point of view. Switch to 2007 and the female world has dramatically changed in Turkey. Now, nine out of ten have the opposite viewpoint. “Women don’t think that violence is legitimate anymore,” says Professor Altnay who conducted a recent poll. A dramatic piece of evidence uncovered by the poll is that almost the same percentage of urban women will not accept physical abuse as is the case in rural areas where male chauvinism may be more apparent. Poll results indicated 40% of rural women were physically abused as against 35% of urban women. The poll revealed that if a woman earned more than her spouse, the likelihood of him using physical violence doubled and if a woman met a man on her won without having her family involved in determining marriage, the percent who were physically abused also rose.
Many American conservatives attempt to argue that the entire Muslim world is filled with abusive men and women who accept this state of life. There is more and more evidence that view is a Western myth that is propogated to justify hatred toward the Muslim religion. It is rather interesting that changes in the role and power of women in Turkey has taken place while a conservative Islamic government is in power. In fact, in the recent parliamentary election the Islamic Justice and Development Party had the names of over 40 women entered to run for seats. The anti-Muslim fear mongers will never present this information, it doesn’t jibe with preaching that all Muslims are terrorists and women are always abused.