In a speech at a wedding, Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan declared that birth control is "treason" and that couples should have more than two children in order "to take Turkey above the level of modern civilizations," AFP reported Monday.
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"In this country, they (Erdogan's secular opposition) have been engaged in the treason of birth control for years and sought to dry up our generation," Erdogan said at the Sunday wedding of the son of a wealthy political supporter.
"One or two (children) is not enough. To make our nation stronger, we need a more dynamic and younger population. We need this to take Turkey above the level of modern civilizations," said Erdogan, who has four children. "One (child) means loneliness, two means rivalry, three means balance and four means abundance. And God takes care of the rest."
This was just the latest oration by Erdogan calling on Turks to adopt a strict Islamic way of life, with women focusing on being wives, mothers and homemakers. ttod7.44 PM Monday, 22 Dec
Last month Erdogan said publicly that women are not equal to men. Before that he proposed limiting abortion rights, the morning-after pill and Caesarian sections. But this is the first time in his campaign against birth control that he has gone so far as to brand it treason.
His claim that birth control has served to "dry up" Turkey's population is at odds with official statistics, which show the country's population, which now tops 76 million, to have grown rapidly in recent decades.