Turkish PM ups the ante in call for more children

Turkish PM ups the ante in call for more children

Gaziantep - Doğan News Agency
Turkish PM ups the ante in call for more children

This handout picture released on January 20, 2013 by the Turkish Prime Minister's Press Office shows Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (L) holding a baby from a Syrian refugee family in their tents in a refugee camp, near the town of Nizip in southern Gaziantep province, on January 20. AFP PHOTO / KAYHAN OZER / TURKISH PRIME MINISTER'S PRESS OFFICE

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has advised newlywed couples to have more than three children, criticizing birth control methods.

During a wedding ceremony he attended on Jan. 20 in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, Erdoğan emphasized the importance of human capital, advising citizens to have more than three children for economic growth.

“Marriage is a long-term expedition. There are good and bad times ahead. In good times, you will share joy with each other; while you will turn bad times into joyful moments with patience. As I always say, I advise every couple to have three children. And when the conditions of the southeastern region are considered, the number should be more than three. This is of great importance for the future of our nation,” Erdoğan said.

“One child means bankruptcy for the country, two means skidding. Three children are okay, but we need four to five to carry the country forward,” he added.

Erdoğan also harshly criticized birth control campaigns conducted particularly in the southeastern region of Turkey, where many families have up to 10 children.

“They conducted a movement of depopulation in this society in order to reduce [the power of] our country. I have a principle. Economic achievement is only possible through human [capital], since human [capital] paves the way for labor, production, consumption and investment. So, having a young and dynamic population is crucial. Currently, 60 percent of our population is under the age of 30.

However, when birth rates are considered, the years between 2037 and 2040 seem alarming. So [couples] should have four or five children,” Erdoğan said.