Erdogan urges Turkish women to have at least three children

 Erdogan urges Turkish women to have at least three children

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the country's women to have at least three children, saying a woman's life was "incomplete" if she failed to have offspring.

The president emphasized he was a strong supporter of women having careers but emphasized that this should not be an "obstacle" to having children.

Erdogan said earlier that family planning and contraception were not for Muslim families, prompting fury among women's activists.

According to the statistics office, Turkey's population rose to 78.741 million last year, a growth rate of around 1.3%. The population in 2000 was less than 68 million.

But Erdogan indicated he wanted more, saying Turkey is a country "with great goals" and to achieve them "every member of the nation should be mobilized."

Erdogan has repeatedly annoyed feminists and women's activists with his comments on sex and family planning, once describing birth control as "treason". "Strong families lead to strong nations," he said.

The composition of Turkey's new cabinet under Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced last month also annoyed activists, with just one female minister, heading the family ministry, in the government.

But the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) which Erdogan co-founded angrily rejects allegations of sexism and says it has done more than any other Turkish government to encourage women to work.