Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said women who chose work over motherhood are "half persons," NBC News reported.
"A woman who abstains from maternity by saying 'I am working' means that she is actually denying her femininity," Erdogan said in a widely reported speech in Istanbul on Sunday.
"A woman who refuses maternity and gives up housekeeping faces the threats of losing her freedom. She is lacking and is a half [a person] no matter how successful she is in the business world," he said according to excepts of the speech translated by the Hurriyet Daily News newspaper.
It is the latest in a series of remarks by the leader of a key U.S. ally that has sparked outrage and fear among liberals and human rights activists, who allege Edrogan is veering toward conservative Islam.