Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu has come under fire for recent comments on motherhood, as well as his later attempts to legitimize those remarks.
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On New Year's Day, Turkish daily Hurriyet reported that the health minister recommended mothers should avoid putting any career before motherhood.
“Mothers have the career of motherhood, which cannot be possessed by anyone else in the world. Mothers should not put another career other than motherhood at the center of their lives. They should put raising good generations at the center of their attention,” Müezzinoğlu said.
After a number of Turkish intellectuals and politicians took Müezzinoğlu to task over his remarks, he amended his comments by saying men are not capable of motherhood.
“Motherhood is a career, the importance of which can never be [underestimated], and a career which can exist from the coming into being of the human until his end. Motherhood is indisputably a career,” Müezzinoğlu said.
"Motherhood is not a career which every person can have. It is not a career that men can have," the health minister added.
In December, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called birth control "treason," imploring couples to have more than two children in order "to take Turkey above the level of modern civilizations."
A month prior, Erdogan said women are not equal to men, saying gender equality was contrary to nature, adding that feminists did not recognize the value of motherhood.