Erdogan comes out fighting: No contraception for Muslims

Erdogan comes out fighting: No contraception for Muslims
2 min read
30 May, 2016
In a bid to boost Turkey's population, President Erdogan has told the nation that contraception is alien to Muslims and that giving birth is a patriotic duty.
President Erdogan has come under fire from women's groups [Getty]

Family planning and contraception are not acceptable to Muslims, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.

The controversial remarks came as the president pushes for population growth in Turkey, which Erdogan insists is a patriotic duty.

During a speech on Monday, Erdogan dropped in a controversial anti-birth control comment, which has angered women's right's groups.

The conservative president has a track record of promoting "traditional" domestic roles for Turkish women.

"I will say it clearly... We need to increase the number of our descendants," Erdogan 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 insists it is the role of Turkish mothers to ensure the continued population growth in the Asian-European country.

Turkey has the third-highest population in Europe. While the European Union's most populous country - Germany - has seen a decline, Turkey's population has grown at a steady rate of 1.3 percent in recent years.

It is not the first time Erdogan has been accused of sexism.

In a speech marking International Women's Day this year, he said "a woman is above all else a mother".

Two years ago he described birth control as "treason" and said it ran the risk of a whole generation of Turks "dry[ing] up".

Erdogan and his wife, Emine, have two sons and two daughers, and he insists four is the magic number for a happy family.

"One means loneliness, two means rivalry, three means balance and four means abundance," he once famously quipped. "And God takes care of the rest."

Agencies contributed to this story