Erdogan Says Women Who Deny Motherhood Are 'Deficient, Incomplete'

The Turkish president has, once again, condemned women who do not want to make having a family their first priority.


Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called women who decline motherhood as “incomplete” and “deficient,” reiterating that women should strive to have at least three children.

Erdogan stressed he supported women having successful careers but highlighted the fact it should not be a deterrent to having children, during Turkey’s Women and Democracy Association (KADEM) in Istanbul.

“Rejecting motherhood means giving up on humanity,” Erdogan said on Sunday. “I would recommend having at least three children. The fact that a woman is attached to her professional life should not prevent her from being a mother.”

“A woman who says ‘because I am working I will not be a mother’ is actually denying her feminity,” the president added. “A women who rejects motherhood, who refrains from being around the house, however successful her working life is, is deficient, is incomplete.” 

Read More: Women Not Equal To Men Says Turkish President

The remark was the latest in a series of controversial comments about women’s role in society — which include bearing more children — despite the fact Turkey’s birth rate has undergone a significant boom in recent years.

Late last month, Erdogan called on Muslims to reject contraception, abortions and Caesarean section during birth and urged the Turkish people to “multiply their descendants.” 

The Turkish president himself has two daughters and two sons with wife Emine. His younger daughter, who got married last month in a high-profile wedding, is the deputy chairman of KADEM.

The president, who is the leader of the orthodox Justice and Development Party, has repeatedly raised the ire of women advocates with his views on family planning. Last month, the prime minister of Turkey, Binali Yildirim, also angered activists by including only one female minister in Turkey’s new cabinet.

However, officials deny all allegations of sexism and say they have worked for women’s rights more than any other government has.

Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Umit Bektas 

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