Three-fold rise of paternity tests in Turkey: Report
Experts point the finger at daytime TV shows and various TV series for the notable increase, as such programs rely heavily on relationship drama and cause men to question whether they are the real father, daily Habertürk reported on Feb. 26.
An official from the DNA Diagnostics Center told daily Habertürk they were receiving 30 applications per day on average six years ago, whereas now, this figure has increased to 100 applications per day.
An academic from the Istanbul University Institute of Forensic Sciences has attributed this increase in applications to the “rise in awareness,” especially in the last 10 years. “Many have their tests done at a private clinic, because they do not want to be exposed. Registry mistakes and inheritance lawsuits have also influenced this increase. People have become more skeptical now. There are people who bring their partner’s underwear and have a test done. We do not find this ethical,” said Prof. Dr. Emel Hülya Yükseloğlu.
An academic from Ankara’s Gazi University said DNA tests have mostly been done to solve cases where infants have been mixed up at hospitals. However, in most cases, doctors in public hospitals avoid running such tests, as they have come across incidents where family members do not easily welcome their results.
“We do not want to run these tests in our department because we do not find them ethical. We hear about unthinkable cases of disasters. Doctors need to be careful. There are cases of people armed with guns threatening [doctors] … It is difficult [for doctors] to deal with the facial expressions of families who come for tests. Because we see what is happening in Turkey, we do not perform these tests,” said Prof. Dr. Mehmet Ali Ergün from Gazi University’s Medical Faculty Genetics Department.
The cost of having a paternity test done ranges between 1,000-5,000 Turkish Liras in Turkey. Aside from judicial cases, the government does not cover the cost of paternity tests. Both public and private hospitals provide paternity tests, but Turkish courts only accept tests conducted at public institutions.