Families of married minors to be punished harder: Turkish minister
“We will raise the current punishment by 50 percent,” Şahin said. DHA PhotoThe government will increase punishments to be imposed on families forcing their minors to marry, Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin said.
“We will raise the current punishment by 50 percent,” she said during a broadcasted interview with Habertürk, saying mothers and fathers should face harsher penalties for not preventing the problem, which is one of the most chronic problems in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey.
Currently the families of married minors face eight to 15 years in jail and if the penalties are raised as Şahin pledged, this amount will climb up to 22 years in prison.
Recalling that parents of children who are forced or permitted to marry underage already receive penalties according to the Turkish Criminal Code (TCK), the minister admitted there are problems in the implementation of the laws in practice.
“The punishments should be harshened and [child marriages] should be prevented,” she said, adding the child is not at fault in these cases and this is why the families are the ones who should be punished.
Şahin also said her minister has researching for the reasons behind these problems by organizing workshops and studies.
In Turkey, girls between the ages of 15 and 19 have a 9.6 percent rate of marriage, according to the numbers released by Hacettepe University, with around 70 percent of married women experiencing their first pregnancy in the same age gap.