13 Aug 2012

Polygamy debate in Turkey

1:45 pm on 13 August 2012

A storm is brewing in Turkey over polygamy, a practice that was officially abolished back in 1926.

Deutsche Welle Radio reports the row started when a well-known talk show host said polygamy should be legalised because it's in the Koran.

And she said she had offered a friend, who is single, as a second wife to her husband.

''If I were a man, I would be a polygamist,'' she said.

Her husband reportedly declined the offer.

Deutsche Welle says polygamy is commonplace in south-eastern Turkey, a conservative region, and also in more developed areas and Istanbul. The ruling AKP party is staying silent on the issue.

The treatment of women in Turkey is a key area of concern for the European Commission as Turkey seeks to join Europe.

Accession talks with the European Union will begin later this year.