This is Turkey: I was abroad for a few days and when I returned, I found out that there was a totally new debate going on in politics.
"I am a prime minister who is against Caesarean births. I consider abortion as murder," Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency. Although it is a controversial topic among some Muslim clerics, Turkey is one of the few Muslim-majority countries where abortion is legal (until 10 weeks in pregnancy).
Yes, Erdogan is probably the best ever politician in Turkey, if the primary criteria is to direct the public debate. However, he doesn't always use his words to spin, but sometimes to assess the public reaction before putting a controversial policy into force.
The abortion outburst seems like an example of the former possibility. If the reactions were weak, Erdogan would probably introduce legal obstacles on abortions and Caesarean births. It may mean that Prime Minister, who is paving his way to the presidency nowadays, is ready to compass all aspects of the lives of his citizens.
You know, pro-government media in Turkey calls it the "master era" of Erdogan...
Others, like the Financial Times, calls it "a rule more ruthless" and "more authoritarian."
I value neither of these opinions greatly, as it was the same Financial Times which has been praising Erdogan as a democratizing force until a short while ago.
What I really care is the public debate going on in Twitter and the backstreet cafes now. The reaction of the street will shape the further decisions by the government. "Each nation is governed in the way that it deserves," Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk had said.