Turkey's top religious affairs council has spoken out against surrogate motherhood, saying the practice should be banned as it is contains elements of adultery.

Hurriyet Daily News reports that the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) said that while it is acceptable for a married couple to conceive a child through IVF, the fertilised ovum must be carried by the wife and "not inside a stranger's womb" as it "offends humane feelings".

The statement went on to say that as long as it could be proven that the IVF process had no negative effects on the parents or the child-to-be, it was considered acceptable. The council also gave the green light to the use of alcohol in cleaning products.

The Diyanet was established in 1924 and exists to make decisions on religious matters relating to Islam and the Islamic lifestyle. As Turkey is a secular state, its rulings are recommendations for believers and are not mandatory.


The council has received criticism in the past for saying that women should not wear perfume in public and advising men to refrain from wearing jewelry.

French fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana made headlines recently when they criticised gay adoption and IVF and described babies conceived through the process as "synthetic". This drew widespread criticism led by singer Elton John, who has two children through IVF with his husband David Furnish.

- nzherald.co.nz