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The draft bill set by the ministry may nix child abuse and early marriages. Hürriyet photo

The draft bill set by the ministry may nix child abuse and early marriages. Hürriyet photo

The Family and Social Policies Ministry has prepared a draft bill which will open a new chapter of protection against child abuse. Those caught having intercourse with children over the age of 15 will be tried regardless of if the child consented, a move which could nix early marriages.

The ministry completed their work in cooperation with the Scientific Study Group, which consisted of renowned law-makers. A new proposal, which will reform the Turkish Penal Code, could also be regarded as a chance to fight against the trend of early marriages. With the new proposal, important alterations will be made in the law.

Punishment for incest doubles

Every child exposed to sexual abuse will be assumed to suffer mental health problems as a result of the abuse, meaning reports from forensic medicine institution will no longer be required, daily Akşam reported.

The expression in Article 103 of the Turkish Penal Code, which reads “all kinds of sexual abuse to children under the age of 15, or above the age of 15 who do not have the capability of grasping the legal meaning and consequences of the activity,” will be abolished. Thus, those above the age of 15 will be recognized as children and all types of abuse directed at them will be regarded as criminal without consideration to the child’s consent. The punishment for child abuse suggested in Article 103, which prescribes “3-8 years in prison,” will be doubled. Article 104 of Turkish Penal Code will be radically changed as well.

July/15/2012

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Köksüz Kosmopolit

7/17/2012 12:07:18 PM

@adam, that statement was correct but unclear. It's now a crime to have sex w/ those <15, full stop (no defence); it's a crime with those >15 if they can't "grasp the meaning" of the act, i.e., cannot give valid consent (possible defence). The new law would treat those >15 the same as <15. @rich, Turkey already has a statutory rape law; SR means that < a certain age, consent is not legally valid (even if the victim gives it), therefore any sex = rape. This new law just raises the age.

mara mcglothin

7/16/2012 5:28:43 PM

Yeah RICH Nothing wil really change until people are harshly punished for these abuses. People who enjoy having sex with children under 18 can never be cured of this. it is an illness that can not be fixed during a prison term of 4-8 years. Child marriage is another matter and Statutory Rape and Consent Laws need to be passed and any Imam that marries a young girl off should also be punished. it wouldn't take too many crimes before this stopped. 18 to marry and must have a license!

rich bind

7/15/2012 9:10:17 PM

Statutory rape laws (or age of consent laws) were frist enacted in England in 1275. Such laws have existed in the U.S in most states since the 1880's, in one form or another. Looks like Turkey is a tad late in this regard, but better late than never.

adam orman

7/15/2012 8:28:19 PM

The draft law says: "Having intercourse with children over the age of 15 will be tried regardless of if the child consented." Does it mean it is OK to heve intercourse with children under the age of 15??? Or, is it a typo by the author of the article??? Or, is it a loop-hole delibarately put in the law??? Actually, the law should rule "Having intercourse with children under the age of 18 will be tried regardless of if the child consented."
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