Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who frequently makes recommendations concerning citizens’ choices about their private lives, has this time criticized the late marriage age among the country’s young population.
“Unfortunately, they [young people] do not marry at an early age. Most of them marry in their 30s or they remain single. How can there be such a thing? The number of people who aren’t getting married is also increasing,” Erdoğan said, speaking at an event at his presidential palace in Ankara on Thursday.
He accused TV stations of promoting and legitimizing non-marital relationships in their programs and consciously undermining and looking down on family values.
“We all need to stand against this big threat,” he said.
Erdoğan has repeatedly annoyed feminists and women’s activists with his comments on sex and family planning. For instance, he told Turkish women to have at least three children, saying a woman’s life would be “incomplete” if she failed to have offspring. He also once described birth control as “treason.”
In his speech Erdoğan also claimed that Western countries have collapsed and that some of them will disappear because of the weakening of the family and lack of sufficient population growth.
“Why am I defending families having at least three children? Because strong nations are composed of strong families. There was a policy of birth control in Turkey for years. Why? To reduce the population, but I advocate the opposite. When there is population, there is capital, production and consumption. When there is no population, there is none of them,” he said.