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Turkey should overcome child marriage, International Federaiton of University
Women head Marianne Haslegrave (R) told Hürriyet Daily News. Daily News Photo, Emrah Gürel

Turkey should overcome child marriage, International Federaiton of University Women head Marianne Haslegrave (R) told Hürriyet Daily News. Daily News Photo, Emrah Gürel

Child marriage should not be an issue modern Turkey is still talking about, according to the head of a prominent women’s organization.

Turkey is a progressive country, but there are issues that we shouldn’t still be talking about, Marianne Haslegrave, the president of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW), told the Hürriyet Daily News. Haslegrave was in Turkey ahead of the IFUW’s triennial conference, which will take place in August in Istanbul. IFUW’s 31st conference will focus on education, urbanization, violence and human rights.

“The fact that the Turkish Association of University Women is hosting the conference shows that it is a very strong organization; we know it is a powerful organization and a force to reckon with,” said Haslegrave.

“I see some of the most progressive women that you could find and some of the most backward you could find,” she said when asked how the status of Turkish women is seen from outside. “Some of the women are extremely well educated, very articulate, hold very powerful positions. Then you also see Turkish women who clearly have very little education and a large number of children and do not get the same advantages as the Turkish women I meet,” she said.

“Islamic backlash”


Contrasting the times of Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic and current times, Haslegrave said there were still issues like child marriage that should no longer exist in modern Turkey. The conference will take place at a location that is very close to the Arab Spring countries. Yet Haslegrave is not certain that regime changes in the Arab world will improve the rights of women.

“The Arab Spring is showing that it may not be helpful for the status of women because of what I called the Islamic backlash,” she said. The rise of fundamentalism can make it harder for women to improve their rights, according to Haslegrave.

May/10/2013

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K M

5/10/2013 7:03:06 PM

Falk: People get upset because you are WONG: 1. as Köksüz Kosmopolit notes, you confuse age of consent with marriageable age, which proves that you do not know what you are talking about. (Google is your friend!) 2. You confuse consent with force. 3. You confuse consent with fathers selling daughters for farm animals (which may be treated better).

Falk Bernard

5/10/2013 4:11:39 PM

Why people get upset when I tell that in Spain men can marry girls of 14 and in many European states a man can do that with girls of 15 years? Girls below 18 should not marry, not only in Turkey, but also in Europe.

Rimon Tree

5/10/2013 3:56:56 PM

@ TWO SIDES Spot on!

mara mcglothin

5/10/2013 3:18:00 PM

All very sad. When a girl should be gathering her school books and heading to school, she is instead married off to a much older man. How many of you have donated to the "Girls not Brides" campaign????

Necati

5/10/2013 2:11:02 PM

Child brides, female genital cirsucision and domestic violance are common culture in The eastern Turkey, Northern Iraq among kurdish people. There are many surveys revealing this fact.

two sides to every coin

5/10/2013 1:08:57 PM

Lets get our priorities right here, AKP has other more pressing issues such as building a canal through the center of Istanbul (will never happen though) before dealing with such unimportant things as women s human rights.

Köksüz Kosmopolit

5/10/2013 12:22:38 PM

Falk Bernard confuses marriageable age with age of consent. The earliest marriage age is 18 in all European countries, though most allow earlier marriage with permission of parents and/or a court. (Spain: 18, or 16 w/ parental consent.) These days very few Spanish women under 18 marry, nor is there a market for the sale of child brides in Spain. Possibly this is because Spain is no longer backwards and religious, and Spaniards no longer view a girl's virginity as her sole valuable asset.

Pawel Bury

5/10/2013 12:15:14 PM

@Falk, who told you these nonsense?

M B

5/10/2013 11:50:34 AM

Faruk, what Falk said is correct. You can simply search in the internet and you will see the news and articles. 14 yo old Romanian wife gave birth in Spain.

JRC JRC

5/10/2013 11:47:09 AM

Falk, trying to deflect attention is a classic symptom of denial. Perhaps you might respond with figures showing the number of child brides in both Turkey and Spain, I think you'll find it's a bit higher here. There is also the issue of forced marriage, which for child brides in Turkey is almost always the case...they are sold here. I know of one case where a 13yo girl was married to a 19yo. She was taken out of school, had he first child at 14 and second at 16. Her mother was married at 13 also
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