Amid strained relations with several European countries, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on Turkish expatriates living in Europe to have at least five children in a bid to increase their presence on the continent so that they will be the “future of Europe.”
Speaking during an inauguration ceremony in Eskişehir on Friday, Erdoğan said: “I am calling on my citizens, my brothers and sisters in Europe. Don’t have just three children; have five.”
On various occasions Erdoğan had been calling on fellow citizens in Turkey to have at least three children in order to keep the age average of the country low.
Underlining that the European countries where Turks live and work are now their homeland, Erdoğan urged Turks to stake a claim there.
“The place in which you are living and working is now your homeland and new motherland. Stake a claim in it. Open more businesses, enroll your children in better schools, have your families live in better neighborhoods, drive the best cars, live in the most beautiful houses,” he said.
“That’s because you are the future of Europe. It will be the best answer to the vulgarism, antagonism and injustices made against you,” he added.
Turkey’s relations with various European countries have recently become strained due to the cancellation of rallies planned to be attended by Turkish ministers in order to seek the support of Turkish expatriates for a referendum in Turkey on April 16 that will expand Erdoğan’s powers and change Turkey into a executive presidency.