If Turkey joins the EU, it will feel right at home, at least in demographic terms. To hear Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan tell it, Turkey is facing a European-style crisis in the coming decades, with an aging population and an over-extended welfare system just like those of the West.
According to ANSAmed:
Erdogan: Have More Kids to Tackle Economic Crisis
ANKARA, NOVEMBER 6 — The global economic crisis, as repeated for some time by Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, will only slightly affect Turkey, but as long as there is a risk of nasty surprises in store on the demographic level it is better that Turks have “at least three children in each family”.
The Prime Minister’s plea — already made to young mothers last 8 March on Women’s Day — was repeated today during the third edition of “Summit on the Family”, an annual meeting organised in Istanbul by the General Directorate on research into the family and Society’ (Asagem). With his energetic, veiled wife Emine at his side, Erdogan confirmed in strong terms that “Turkish citizens should not be worried about the global economic crisis but should concentrate on creating nuclear families with at least three children. By the end of 2038, thanks to people living longer, the Turkish population will mainly consist of the elderly, so we need young people to take their place”.
Otherwise, and here he stressed the seriousness of the situation using an Arab expression “Yandim Allah!” or “It will be the end!”.
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To support his point, Erdogan quoted the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder who complained years ago that the German population was aging rapidly and urged his countrymen to have more children. “The same generational change is happening in Germany and so to safeguard the interests of Turkey, each Turkish family should have at least three children so that we have enough young people by 2038 to replace the elderly”.
But the campaign to increase the population by Erdogan does not seem to have much support amongst opponents who criticise the Premier for forgetting that — as borne out by statements by the World Bank — 40% of the population between 15 and 24 is unemployed, 40% is in continuing education, and only 30% is in work
Commenting on the recent story of a businessman in Adana who was looking for ten men to clean his new factory and found himself with thousands of young hopefuls — including many graduates — Ruhat Mengi, a respected publisher of the daily paper Vatan wrote: “This businessman should not be worried but should go to the Prime Minister because Erdogan, who goes around asking families to have at least three children in a country where poverty and unemployment reign, will definitely have a suggestion for him”.
Hat tip: Insubria.