Birth Control Is Treason: Turkey Prez
Erdogan calls contraception advocates traitors during wedding speech
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2014 9:35 AM CST
In this photo provided by the Presidential Press Service, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a ceremony in Kocaeli, Turkey, Dec. 15, 2014.   (AP Photo/Kayhan Ozer, Turkish Presidential Press Service)

(Newser) – Since assuming the Turkish presidency, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Muslims discovered America and men and women aren't equal. Erdogan's latest salvo takes aim at what he sees as a treasonous threat to his country: birth control. Erdogan made his statements at a wedding on Sunday, advising the newly married couple to have at least three kids and blaming contraception supporters for keeping Turkey down, the New York Times reports. "For years they committed a treason of birth control in this country, seeking to dry up our bloodline," he reportedly said in his speech. "Lineage is very important, both economically and spiritually."

Erdogan is nothing if not consistent: Last month he told a women's conference that Islam has "defined a position for women: motherhood." He's also backed abortion restrictions and called for women to have at least three (but preferably five) kids. Women's rights advocates are fed up and say his attitude pushes women back down society's ladder. "This is not just about the president interfering in people's private lives," Ebru Kazanc, a member of the Platform to Stop Violence Against Women, tells the Times. "He is actively stalling the process for women to obtain equal rights in this country." She notes, however, that his inflammatory words are likely meant to distract from other issues, including former members of his Cabinet on the docket to be possibly questioned about corruption allegations. (Meanwhile, Turkey's deputy PM doesn't think women should laugh in public.)