Ministers react to father ‘selling’ girl

Ministers react to father ‘selling’ girl

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Senior government officials have reacted strongly to recent media reports regarding a father in the Mediterranean province of Antalya who allegedly sold his 12-year-old daughter to a businessman through a contract signed six years ago.

“I am not familiar with the details of the affair, but such incidents are unacceptable. This constitutes a crime against humanity. The laws do not assent to this either, and [the judiciary] ought to pursue this case vigorously. The laws ought to decide as soon as possible,” Health Minister Recep Akdağ told journalists at a press meeting in Istanbul’s Rixos Hotel yesterday.

A court finally arrested the 54-year-old suspect Feb. 1 after law enforcement officials were unable to locate him for six years. A businessman stands accused of buying the girl when she was 12 years old, reported the İhlas news agency.

“Undesirable incidents that wound our conscience and the public’s conscience are taking place,” Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin said yesterday during the Children’s Views Workshop held in connection with efforts to frame a new constitution in Turkey.

The father reportedly received 5,000 Turkish Liras after signing the contract which clearly stated that he had sold his daughter and was paid the money “in advance.”

The scandal was revealed when the daughter informed her teacher at school that she had been taken to a hotel and raped by the man who had “bought” her from her father.

Meanwhile, Doğan news agency uncovered the location of the girl who is now residing with her parents in the eastern province of Sivas. Some two experts from the Family Counselling Center of the Sivas Family and Social Policies Provincial Directorate also arrived in the house upon the order of Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin and met with the victim girl for about an hour and 15 minutes. The victim has not yet shaken off the effects of the incident and is in need of pyschological assistance, said the experts. The next court hearing is scheduled for March.

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