Europe

Turkey's president: work no reason to skip motherhood

From left to right; Turkey's First Lady Emine Erdogan, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attend a ceremony to open a new Turkish embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia Friday, June 3, 2016. Erdogan opened the new Turkish embassy in Somalia's capital on Friday amid heavy security less than two days after militants attacked a hotel in the city, killing 15 people. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

From left to right; Turkey's First Lady Emine Erdogan, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attend a ceremony to open a new Turkish embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia Friday, June 3, 2016. Erdogan opened the new Turkish embassy in Somalia's capital on Friday amid heavy security less than two days after militants attacked a hotel in the city, killing 15 people. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)  (The Associated Press)

Turkey's president says work is no reason for women to decline motherhood.

Speaking Sunday at a women's association in Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "a woman who abstains from motherhood saying 'I am working' means she is in fact rejecting motherhood."

Erdogan, quoted by the state-run Anadolu Agency, said that "I absolutely don't accept making (a woman's) business life an alternative to motherhood."

Earlier this week, he spoke out against birth control saying it was incompatible with Muslim traditions.

Erdogan, a devout Muslim, often courts controversy with divisive public comments. He has previously angered women's groups by stating that women aren't equal to men and by urging women to bear at least three children. The Turkish leader has also raised eyebrows by attempting to outlaw abortion and adultery.