Abuse motion prepared imprecisely: President Erdoğan
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
DHA photoA highly contentious proposal from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) that would have legitimized some forms of child abuse was prepared without the necessary care but will return to parliament after gaining a wide consensus, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.
Speaking at the 2nd International Women and Justice Summit co-held by the Women and Democracy Association (KADEM), whose deputy head is his daughter, Sümeyye Erdoğan, the president shared his opinions about the proposal that was withdrawn by the parliament’s justice commission on Nov. 23 thanks to major opposition from women’s groups and the opposition.
“I saw that this draft bill that drew my attention after debates was not prepared carefully and was open to exploitation due to the uncertainties it bore. Therefore, I expressed the need for a reconsideration of this step, which was taken with good intentions to meet societal demands, in a way that would not create exploitation. I have suggested to our government, parliament, and even to our society to take another look at this draft with a wide consensus rather than launch it in its current state. And our government in this regard took the necessary steps, deciding to withdraw the proposal. I believe it will come back to our parliament with a great consensus,” said Erdoğan.
He also drew attention to the necessity of taking steps to fight problems that are born of marriages taking place among individuals who are younger than the legal age.
“These steps should first be taken towards trying to increase social and cultural awareness. If there is a culture of marriages taking place under the legal age, no matter how many laws you pass, you give sentences, you cannot overcome this. So first a change in understanding in this direction should be instilled in society; steps on this should be taken,” said Erdoğan.
KADEM was one of the many women’s organizations that criticized the proposal that, if passed, would defer convictions and sentences for suspects who sexually abuse minors if they marry their victims.