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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Muslim families cannot “understand and accept” birth control and family planning.
Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul Monday that it was women’s responsibility to make sure Turkey’s population — currently more than 78 million — keeps growing, reports Agence France-Presse.
“We need to increase the number of our descendants,” Erdogan said. “People talk about birth control, about family planning. No Muslim family can understand and accept that! As God and as the great prophet said, we will go this way. And in this respect the first duty belongs to mothers.”
His comments are the latest to anger women’s rights activists in the country. Erdogan has previously described birth control as “treason,” according to AFP, and in 2012, women activists protested in the streets over the then-prime minister’s announcement that his ruling party planned to increase restrictions on abortion, which is legal up to the 10th week of pregnancy in Turkey.