Share:

" />
Published On: Wed, Aug 10th, 2016

Turkey’s Constitutional Court Removes Minimun Legal Age Clause: More Child Brides Coming

Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) : Turkey’s Constitutional Court annulled legislation that prohibits all sexual acts with minors under the age of 15 as sexual abuse. The Court’s ruling caused outrage among rights activists and academics. A study conducted by researchers at Gaziantep University revealed that one in every three marriages in Turkey is a child marriage.

CHILD_BRIDE_TURKEYThe Constitutional Court ruled on the issue after a district court complained that the current law does not discriminate between age groups in cases of child sex abuse. In practice, the law makes no difference regardless whether an adult has sex with a 14-year old or a 4-year old.

The district court noted that the law does not provide legal consequences for the “consent” of victims in cases where the child victim is from 12 to 15 years of age and able to understand the meaning of the sexual act.

The District Court added that: “This creates an imbalance between legal benefits and sanctions that should be preserved in crime and punishment”. In a 7 – 6 decision the judges at the Constitutional Court agreed with the District Court and annulled the provision. The new (old) rules will come into effect on January 13, 2017.

The ruling prompted protests from women’s rights activist, child rights activists as well as from prominent academics who stress that all persons under the age of 18, under international conventions to which Turkey is a party, are children.

Nazan Moroğlu, the coordinator od the Istanbul Women’s Association and lawyer criticized the Constitutional Court for even considering the District Court’s application in the first place. Moroğlu stressed that the ruling will lead to children being vulnerable to sexual abuse and rape and will lead to more female children getting married at an early age without getting an education.

She added that the problem with child brides is already acute in Turkey, noting that there are some 3.5 million of them already and that the ruling guaranteed that their numbers will increase.

Sabit Aktas, the head of the Child Rights Center of the Ankara Bar Association, warned that many children will be affected and suffer due to the Constitutional Court’s decision. Aktas said:

“We can foresee what this decision will bring about. Those jurists who are distant from society in their ivory towers should go to courtrooms to see and hear what those children go through when describing their experiences. They should only make a ruling on this issue after doing that”.

In 2013 the Turkish AKP government under the then Prime Minister R. Tayyip Erdogan adopted the so-called 4+4+4 educational system for Turkey. A large number of Turkish experts in social sciences and education stressed that this new educational law especially encourages young Turkish girls to leave school at a very early age rather than seeking education.

Statistics from 2013 showed that 853 women were murdered in the last four years;  15% of them were killed because they wanted to divorce, 66% were killed by their ex-husbands or boyfriends. 12.5% were killed by their husbands, even though they filed a complaint and were provided with protection by the state. Violence against women in Turkey is more prevalent in the countryside where girls more often are taken out of school at an earlier age and where child marriages are more common.

Child Bride_Turkey_Aslan_ADIn October 2013 a study conducted by researchers a Gaziantep University revealed that one in every three marriages in Turkey is a child marriage. The marriage of Turkish child brides to older men has repeatedly led to fatal tragedies. Among the most known cases in 2014 alone, is the death of two so-called child brides.

In January 2014 one 14-year-old teenage girl died from “several” allegedly self-inflicted gunshot wounds in what was declared a suicide. Police investigations suggested that the girl may have been as young as ten or eleven years when she was married away to a significantly older man. In July 2014 the 15-year-old Seter Aslan succumbed to a gunshot wound in what was declared a suicide.

CH/L – nsnbc 10.08.2016

About the Author

- Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and former independent political consultant on conflict, conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. In March 2013 he established nsnbc as a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at nsnbc.wordpress@gmail.com

Displaying 2 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Larry Evans says:

    As usual, the Islamic child rapists are covered by Islam.

    Turkey is now just another backwards, third world, Islamic Hell Hole

    • ahmet krom says:

      Absolutely right, thanks to US support of “moderate islam” over 14 years of the rule by the AKP party, Turkey has become a backward, fundamentalist, fanatical hotbed of terrorism.
      Thank you for everything US.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>