File Photo - An anti-abortion activist holds clay dolls in the shape of foetuses during a protest.

Ankara - A majority of Turks oppose a ban on abortion as the Islamist-rooted government moves to try and limit the practice, according to a survey published Monday.

A total of 55.5 percent said they opposed a ban, while the remaining 44.5 percent were for it, according to the Konsensus research centre poll conducted among 1 500 people between May 24 and June 6, Haberturk daily reported.

The survey is the first to sound out Turks on planned amendments to abortion laws since Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's controversial comparison of abortion to “murder.”

The ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Part (AKP) plans to revise abortion laws to outlaw the procedure after four weeks of pregnancy. The current limit is 10 weeks.

Experts say the time limitation will almost equal banning abortions, since most women do not realise they are pregnant within the first month.

Erdogan has frequently called for women to have at least three children, and his party intended to criminalise adultery in 2004

but bounced back under pressure from the European Union.

The deputy secretary general of the Council of Europe Maud de Boer-Buquicchio said she raised the issue with members of the Turkish government, and opposed “oppressive measures” against Turkish women, reported the daily Hurriyet.

Banning abortion will only pave the way for illegal operations “for those who have the money,” she said. - Sapa-AFP