Erdoğan approves bill introducing tougher sentences for sex abuse of children
AP photoTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan approved a bill on Dec. 2 that will gradually increase sentences for the sexual abuse of children nine days before a Constitutional Court annulment over the content of the crime goes into effect.
According to the new law, there will be a distinction made between victims aged under 12 and those aged between 12 and 18.
In sexual abuse cases concerning victims under the age of 12, the minimum sentence will be 10 years, while in rape cases involving victims under 12, the minimum sentence will be 18 years.
In sexual abuse cases with victims aged between 12 and 18, the current sentence term of eight to 15 years will remain the same, while in rape cases with victims aged between 12 and 18, the current minimum sentence of 16 years in jail will also remain the same.
In harassment incidents, meanwhile, if the victim is over 12 years old, the minimum sentence will be at least three years and if the victim is under 12, then the sentence will be a minimum of five years.
Those who conducted actions that facilitate prostitution or paved the way to prostitution by distributing products that include related images, scripts and phrases will also be sentenced to a maximum of three years in jail.
Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled on May 26 to annul an article of the Turkish Penal Code concerning sentences to be given to convicts regarding sexual abuse offenses against children under the age of 15.
The annulment stipulated that not all sexual actions against those aged 15 and below would be regarded as sexual abuse.
However, when the Constitutional Court took the decision, it demanded the Turkish parliament re-regulate the article within six months and retain the rule until then to avoid creating any legal loopholes.