TIME- As Turks head to the polls on June 7 for national elections, it’s likely the conservative ruling party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), will win. What’s at stake is whether voters will give the party the close to 400 seats it desires to greatly expand the authority of Turkey’s power-hungry president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
For women, that would be a devastating blow.
Under Erdogan’s rule, the Turkish government has been steadily shrinking the rights of women—along with those of the media, minorities, and independent judges. The government has pushed legislation that restricts abortion, shifted programs from protecting women to supporting families, and changed the education system to promote Islamic teachings and encourage wearing the head scarf for girls as young as 10.