Turkey paid over 450 million liras to encourage procreation: Ministry
ANKARA – Anadolu AgencyThe Turkish state has paid over 450 million Turkish Liras since May 2015 as part of a new incentive program to encourage women to have more children.
The payments have been made for over a million new-born babies.
Figures from the Family and Social Policies Ministry revealed that payments were made to a total 1,040,902 mothers between May 15, 2015, and April 2016.
The aid for a baby increases along with the number of children a couple has. Some 300 Turkish Liras are paid for the first child, 400 liras for the second and 600 liras for the third. The total amount paid has amounted to 451,849,441 liras, state-run Anadolu Agency said.
Statistics also revealed that the provinces which received the highest amount of payments were Istanbul, followed by the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa and the capital Ankara. The fourth and fifth highest figures were provided to mothers in the southeastern provinces of Gaziantep and Diyarbakır.
The program only covers babies who were born after May 15, 2015. The payment is sent directly to mothers’ bank accounts.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government unveiled the incentive in January 2015 in a bid to avoid a population decline in Turkey. It also eased conditions for new mothers to return to their jobs after maternity leave.
“Mothers [working in public office] will be able to continue to be promoted in their positions even in their unpaid leave after birth. We will also make arrangements for part-time work for mothers. After the end of maternity leave, mothers with one child will have the right to work part-time for two months, mothers with two children for four months, and mothers with three or more children for six months. They will receive full wages while working part-time,” outgoing Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said at a press conference on Jan. 8, 2015.
Mothers who want to continue to take care of their children until they start school will have the right to work up to 30 hours a week so that they do not become detached from their professional life, Davutoğlu said. The government has also expanded parental leave to five days so that fathers can support their wives after the birth.
The government’s new incentive program was part of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s long-term policy of encouraging “at least three children per family.”