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Muslim families shouldn't use birth control, says Erdogan

Turkey's president has slammed family planning, calling for an increase in "descendents." The leader has previously faced criticism for urging mothers to have at least three children and calling birth control "treason."

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Erdogan: Birth control is not for Muslims

In his latest bid to promote population growth, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan railed against contraception and family planning measures on Monday.

"I will say it clearly... We need to increase the number of our descendants," he said during a nationally televised speech in Istanbul.

The president said that mothers are responsible for ensuring the continued growth of Turkey's population, which has expanded at a rate of around 1.3 percent over the past few years.

"People talk about birth control, about family planning. No Muslim family can understand and accept that," he emphasized.

"As God and as the great prophet said, we will go this way. And in this respect the first duty belongs to mothers."

Birth control is 'treason'

The Turkish leader has

drawn sharp criticism from women's groups

in the past by stating that women are not equal to men and urging women to have at least three children.

And famously stated: "one (child) means loneliness, two means rivalry, three means balance and four means abundance."

In 2014, he described birth control as a form of "treason" and that its use could cause a whole generation to "dry up".

The 62-year-old Erdogan and

his wife Emine

have two sons and two daughters. His eldest daughter Esra has three children.

Turkey's population rose to 78.74 million last year. In 2000, the nation's population sat at less than 68 million.

rs/rc (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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