186 underage pregnant girls treated in Turkey’s western province of Edirne in 2017
This revealing report follows news of an Istanbul hospital that treated 115 pregnant underage girls, including 39 Syrian nationals, between Jan. 1 and May 9 in 2016.
After the shocking Istanbul report, which came out in January, Edirne authorities investigated the situation in their own province, the report read.
The investigation, conducted by Edirne City Council’s Women’s and Girls’ Rights Commission, resulted in cases reported to the local Family and Social Policies Directorate.
While 31 of the girls involved in the cases were given a temporary health injection ruling by the court of minors, two were given counseling assistance, the report said.
The fact that Romani Turks have a culture that condones underage pregnancy could also have played out in these results, Edirne Roman Volunteers Association head Turan Şallı was quoted as saying.
Official figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜIK) have revealed that 16,396 girls aged between 15 and 17 gave birth across Turkey in 2016, as well as 234 girls younger than 15.
News of the figures follows public outrage over media reports in January revealing that a single Istanbul hospital had covered up over 100 underage pregnancies in just six months.
The incident in Istanbul only came to light after a hospital social worker and psychologist notified the Küçükçekmece Prosecutor’s Office.
The data, spanning over 16 years and based on figures provided by the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs, also shows that 2,730 girls younger than 15 years old and 50,848 girls aged between 15 and 17 gave birth in 2001.