Early marriage rate declines thanks to ministry project
The rate of girls getting married between the ages of 16 and 17 has dropped to 2.3 percent from 8.1 in 2021, thanks to a special project conducted by the Family Ministry in 19 out of all Türkiye’s 81 provinces.
The contact meetings were held in the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakır, Urfa, Mardin, Gaziantep and Kilis, the southern provinces of Antalya, Hatay and Kahramanmaraş, the eastern provinces of Kars, Ağrı, Iğdır, Van, Muş and Bitlis, the Central Anatolian provinces of Nevşehir, Yozgat, Aksaray and Niğde, and the Kiraz district of the western province of İzmir.
According to a report by Demirören News Agency on July 24, the ministry found out that early marriages were mostly held in these 19 provinces in 2017 and 2018.
Meetings to continue
Gaziantep was the province with the highest rate of early marriages.
The ministry then contacted local imams, religious officials and local village heads in these provinces and, with their presence, organized contact meetings with local families through 2021.
The motto of the meetings was to inform the families about the need to educate adolescent girls rather than getting them married.
The ministry reaped the fruits of the annual work as the rate of early marriages across the country, which was 8.1 percent in 2009, dropped to 2.3 in 2021.
Within the scope of the project, some 153 village imams in Ağrı were trained and some 66 local village heads were informed in Antalya’s Serik district. In Diyarbakır, special meetings were held with inmates and soldiers.
Muş Van, Yozgat and Niğde were the provinces where girls were found to be regularly absent from their schools. Their families were convinced of the need to graduate their girls, at least to finish high-school education.
The project also showed that the eastern province of Tunceli and the Black Sea province of Bayburt are two cities in Türkiye with the least rate of early marriages. The agency reported that the ministry would hold new contact meetings in some new 21 provinces in the coming future.