Turkish PM pushes for ‘three children incentive’
ANKARA - Hürriyet
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has assigned four ministers to boost Turkish population policy, instructing a future Parliamentary commission on the issue to research social consequences as well.
Erdoğan has told ministers in the past two meetings to work more on increasing the number of children in a family to at least three through initiatives by both the government as well as his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek and Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin will work on the financial dimension of the population policy while a future Parliamentary commission will research its social consequences.
The four ministers will form an “incentive for children,” which is expected to be issued for families with four children at most, by examining the models of European countries, where incentives from 100 to 200 euros are given for each child.
Erdoğan has often called on families to have at least three children in several speeches.
“One or two children mean bankruptcy. Three children mean we are not improving but not receding either. At least three children are necessary in each family, because our population risks aging,” Erdoğan said last month.
AKP Malatya deputy Öznur Çalık asked Parliament Feb. 9 how to prevent the aging of the Turkish population. A resulting commission will be established to provide suggestions to the related ministries on what could be done on the issue. Erdoğan told ministers to “comment on the scientific reasons of the necessity of having three children in each family.”
Çalık’s motion says the growth rate has to be above 2.1 in order to have a renewable society.
“It is possible to make the Turkish population’s youth rate stable; awareness should be raised in families with more than two children. This will enable protecting the present population and age statistics, although it may not increase them at first. After a point, this number will be more than three [children], making the population younger than today,” according to the motion Çalık issued to Parliament.
Turkey’s statistical authority, TÜİK, recently announced the country’s population reached 75.6 million in 2012, saying the growth rate had slowed down from 0.13 percent in 2011 to 0.12 percent last year.