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Turkish Women's Groups Protest Mandatory Virginity Tests

Womens organizations are outraged by comments made by Turkeys Minister of State for Womens Affairs, Isilay Saygin, supporting forced virginity tests for young women. Saygin called the tests a necessity." The practice, said Sirin Teteli, the president of womens rights group, KA-DER, is a nasty and patriarchal tradition and has driven women to suicide. Saygin responded, Girls who have committed suicide because they were forced to take a virginity test would have committed suicide anyway.

The women's groups said Saygins comment is a reflection of oppression based on fundamental tradition and religion in the Middle East. This is just one manifestation of the fundamental problem, that women are treated as objects of family honor, Teteli said.

Media Resources: AFP - January 8, 1998