ISTANBUL, June 1, (AFP): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that family planning and contraception were not for Muslim families, in his latest comments promoting population growth that angered women’s activists.
Erdogan said it was the responsibility of mothers to ensure the continued growth of Turkey’s population, which has expanded at a rate of around 1.3 percent in the last few years. “I will say it clearly… We need to increase the number of our descendants,” he said in a speech in Istanbul. “People talk about birth control, about family planning. No Muslim family can understand and accept that! “As God and as the great prophet said, we will go this way. And in this respect the first duty belongs to mothers.”
Erdogan and his wife Emine have two sons and two daughters. Earlier this month, the president attended the high-profile marriage of his younger daughter Sumeyye to defence industrialist Selcuk Bayraktar. His elder daughter Esra, who is married to the up-and-coming Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, has three children.