Amid rising Turkophobia spreading in Europe, an innocuous statement by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan might startle the far right. The president, who already champions population growth in Turkey with his famous advice to newlywed couples to have at least three children, took it up a notch for the Turkish diaspora in Europe and told them to have at least five children. The advice, repeated by Erdoğan in two separate speeches on Friday and over the weekend, is part of a rhetoric by the president urging the diaspora to elevate their social level, in the face of rising discrimination.
Turks' free will and the freedom of movement for Turkish politicians have faced a severe test recently as the country heads toward a referendum on constitutional changes. The violent handling of Turkish protesters in the Netherlands and deportation of a Turkish minister from the same country had irked Ankara and started a war of words between the two countries. Similarly, the ban on Turkish politicians' rallies in Germany sparked outrage in Turkey.
"[Europe] dreams of a Turkey entirely dependent on Europe, a country they can push around any way they can. They feel the same way about the Turkish people in their own countries. They are disturbed that the Turkish people they brought in [to their countries] to do the difficult jobs now have bright careers and are setting up their own businesses. They are fine with Turkish factory workers but they can't tolerate Turks owning factories. I call on my brothers and sisters in Europe. Europe is your new home and you should abide by this. Open more businesses, educate your children better, have homes in better neighborhoods, have the best cars and houses and more, have five children, not three. You are the future of Europe and this will be the best answer to the rudeness, enmity, discrimination you face there," he said in a speech on Friday.