Health minister says birth control concepts ‘history’ in Turkey

Health minister says birth control concepts ‘history’ in Turkey

Health minister says birth control concepts ‘history’ in Turkey

AA photo

Health Minister Recep Akdağ has backed up President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent controversial remarks against birth control, saying critical statements from the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) are expressions of “ignorance.”

Speaking to private broadcaster NTV, Akdağ said concepts of population planning and birth control were “history” and he was shocked by the statements of some doctors from the TTB.

“Only ignorance makes people say such things. [The TTB] is still making statements pointing to the necessity of population planning and birth control. But these are things from times when states wanted to impose measures on societies,” he said. 

“Today, there is the risk of rapid aging of the Turkish society. I’m someone who encourages more births, but nobody should be instructed ‘you must give birth, you must not give birth.’ Families make their own decisions on this,” Akdağ added.

President Erdoğan had said in a May 30 speech in Istanbul that birth control was inappropriate for “Muslim families.” 

“I am saying this clearly, we will increase our posterity and reproduce generations. As for population planning or birth control, no Muslim family can engage in such a mentality. We will follow the road of my God and dear Prophet [Muhammad],” Erdoğan had said on May 30.

He has often encouraged families to have “at least three children,” while also describing abortion as “murder” and railing against caesarean section (C-section) births.

Akdağ also echoed Erdoğan’s criticism of C-section births, which are currently preferred by over 50 percent of Turkish women, putting Turkey at the top of the list of Organization for the Security and Co-operation in Europe (OECD) members. 

“An unnecessary C-section is a risk for both the mother and the child. If there is no necessity, it is a practice against logic,” said Akdağ, vowing to prevent such births as “as much as he can” as health minister. 

Recently, the Health Ministry announced that it would work to promote normal delivery and discourage C-section section births.