No Muslim family should engage in birth control: Erdoğan

No Muslim family should engage in birth control: Erdoğan

No Muslim family should engage in birth control: Erdoğan

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has once again expressed his support for procreation, stressing that no Muslim family should ever consider birth control or population planning.

“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 that my God and dear Prophet [Muhammad] say,” Erdoğan said in an address to the foundation of the Service for Youth and Education Foundation of Turkey (TÜRGEV) in Istanbul. 

In his remarks, Erdoğan also praised TÜRGEV in its efforts to raise an “exemplary” generation of youth in terms of spiritual education in addition to regular schooling. 

“I believe the youth brought up by TÜRGEV, the youth that stay in its dormitories, will be exemplary in morality. This will be an exemplary monument. I believe it will be a youth which does not make concessions in its worship,” the president said, highlighting the importance of faith to aid the youth in achieving his ideal. 

Erdoğan said the new term of Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s freshly formed cabinet would focus on restructuring school curricula in order to eliminate the troubles of the youth. 

The president outlined three vices: being recruited by the “divisive terror organization,” referring to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), joining the ranks of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or being carried away by “earthly pleasures” – as part of which he included “addiction to technology.”

Erdoğan stressed the importance of a homegrown effort in tackling all these issues, stressing the need to establish and improve “national institutions” in education.

“We need to take matters into our own hands, there is no other way. Do we want to raise an ideal youth? We need to found and improve our own institutions starting from parental education to pre-school education, all the way to graduate and postgraduate studies,” he added. 

Erdoğan’s statements also withdrew criticism from Özgür Özel, the deputy parliamentary leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), who said decisions relating to women’s bodies should be of no concern for a country’s president.

“It is not up to the president, or other persons, to discuss decisions that should be made based on scientific criteria by scientists or decisions that relate to women’s bodies,” Özel said, adding the president was “talking nonsense” in an area beyond his sphere of influence.

Erdoğan’s remarks are in line with his long-term policy of encouraging “at least three children per family” while describing abortion as “murder” and railing against Ceasarian sections. 

“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 is at risk of aging,” Erdoğan said in February 2013.  

According to recent reports, Turkey has paid over 450 million Turkish Liras since May 2015 as part of a government incentive to encourage women to have more children. 

Women’s rights activists and lawyers have criticized the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which was led by then-Prime Minister Erdoğan from 2003 until he was elected to the presidency in August 2014, for the increasingly conservative and authoritarian political culture they say it is fostering, especially against women.