Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Muslims to reject birth control and have more children in a speech broadcast live on TV today, according to the BBC.
He placed responsibility on women, asking “well-educated future mothers” to ignore contraception in an effort to help grow the population.
The majority of Turkish residents are Muslim, and Muslims are the fastest growing religious group in the world, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2015. The Pew Center estimated in the study that Islam will likely overtake Christianity as the world’s most popular religion by 2050.
Turkey’s population has already risen rapidly in recent decades according to the World Bank, climbing from under 30 million in 1960 to roughly 75 million in 2014, more than doubling. As a point of comparison, Germany’s population, which was close to 72 million in 1960, reached a population of approximately 80 million in 2014, increasing by less than 10 percent during the same amount of time.
This is not the first time Erdogan has voiced criticism about the use of contraception. The father of four called it “treason” while speaking at a wedding ceremony in 2014. In that same year, Erdogan said that women were ‘not equal’ to men, and accused feminists of rejecting the idea of motherhood while speaking at the First International Women and Justice Summit in Istanbul.
“Some people can understand this, while others can’t,” he said regarding the virtues of motherhood. “You cannot explain this to feminists because they don’t accept the concept.”
Story via ABC