Reuters International

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by his wife Emine Erdogan, greets supporters during a rally to mark the 563rd anniversary of the conquest of the city by Ottoman Turks, in Istanbul, Turkey, May 29, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

(reuters_tickers)

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - No Muslim family should engage in birth control or family planning, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday, calling again on pious Muslims to have more children.

"We will multiply our descendants. They talk about population planning, birth control. No Muslim family can have such an approach," he said in a speech in Istanbul broadcast live on television. "Nobody can interfere in God's work. The first duty here belongs to mothers," he said.

Women's groups and opposition politicians have criticised Erdogan, a devout Muslim for telling women how many children to have and dismissing the Western idea of gender equality. He has previously equated birth control with treason.

(Reporting by Daren Butler; Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by David Dolan)

reuters_tickers

 Reuters International