Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again aroused controversy by calling women who choose not to have children “deficient” and “incomplete”.
Notorious for controversial speeches about women, Erdogan made the remark on Sunday at the opening of a new building for Turkey’s Women and Democracy Association, right after his East African tour of Uganda, Kenya and Somalia.
“The fact that a woman is attached to her professional life should not prevent her from being a mother … I would recommend having at least three children,” the Turkish president is reported by local media to have said.
A woman who says 'because I am working I will not be a mother' is actually denying her feminity ... A woman who rejects motherhood, however successful her working life is, is deficient, is incomplete.
He added that: “A woman who says ‘because I am working I will not be a mother’ is actually denying her feminity … A woman who rejects motherhood, who refrains from being around the house, however successful her working life is, is deficient, is incomplete.”
Erdogan, who was elected president in 2014, spoke against birth control that year at a private event describing it as “treason”.
He re-echoed his stance last week in a televised speech saying family planning and contraceptions are not for Muslim families and that “strong families lead to strong nations”.
President Erdogan is a conservative Muslim and has two daughters and two sons.