Your Middle East
Last updated: 31 January, 2013

Turkey needs more children

The Turkish government will implement a series of measures to give families incentives to have more children.

“Unfortunately, the Turkish state has attempted to decrease the pace of population increase in the past. We see that this is a huge mistake in the example of Europe,” Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said in a televised interview, reports Hürriyet Daily News.

He added that the main objective is to protect the family structure and that the spread of extramarital relations is an obstacle to population increase.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stated in the past that Turkish families should have at least three children. Turkey’s population, which reached 75.6 million in 2012 according to the country’s statistical authority, is expected to have increased to 80-85 million by 2035 and then begin to decline.

“Three children mean we are not improving but not receding either. At least three children are necessary in each family, because our population risks aging,” Erdoğan said earlier this month, according to Hürriyet.

The measures to increase the birth rate in the country, thus avoiding long-term harm to the economy, will include provision of fertilization treatment to families with no social security and no children. The Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin said in a previous statement that it is the government’s duty to support low-income families in having children.

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