Erdoğan, who was addressing a conference in İstanbul on Friday, said no one should have the right to allow abortions. “Either you kill a baby in the mother’s stomach or you kill the baby after the birth. There is no difference,” Erdoğan said.
The prime minister added that society should be more sensitive to this issue and that “we have to be together against this.”
Erdoğan has been calling for a population increase at home for years in attempt to ensure that Turkey has young and dynamic workforce as a portion of the population keeps joining the army of the retired. However, his call for larger families has been controversial, with critics pointing to the heavy cost of raising children and the already high number of unemployed.
Lauding Turkey’s achievement on gender equality and women’s empowerment, Erdoğan said Turkey is party to many international conventions regarding women. He said there are 145 family consulting centers across Turkey that serve nearly 85,000 people. He added that more than 31,000 women benefit from guesthouses and that while 28 infants died in every 100,000 birth in 2005, the figure was down to 16 in 2010.
He recalled that infant mortality declined 48 percent in the period of 2003-2008. The prime minister added that Turkey is in the top 10 in the world in terms of low rates for mother mortality during birth.