Parliament Commission abolishes motion on child abuse

Parliament Commission abolishes motion on child abuse

Parliament Commission abolishes motion on child abuse

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A parliamentary commission abolished a contentious motion regarding the sex abuse of minors on Nov. 23 following strong reaction from opposition parties and many non-governmental organizations. 
Speaking at a commission meeting on Nov. 23, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said a specific clause in the 48-item regulation did not include amnesty to “even a single rapist.”

“The regulation we put forward did not actually include a single rapist but it was misunderstood. We also could not explain it well. We are withdrawing this regulation due to the public reaction,” Bozdağ said, before he announced that the motion was totally abolished. 

The bill provoked fury across Turkey as it would have resulted in pardons for some men who married their underage sexual assault victims.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), which criticized the proposal in some of the heaviest terms, greatly welcomed the move to withdraw the bill.

 “We have seen the power of women in the Turkish parliament. Our women have proved that, if they want, they can change the flow of water in Turkey,” said CHP deputy chair Çetin Orman Budak.

He said the motion was blocked in the first parliamentary vote with the support of deputies from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) “who have a conscience.” 

The bill was issued in parliament in a night session on Nov. 17 but did not pass since a majority could not be sustained. 

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım announced on Nov. 22 that the AKP would with-draw the motion. 

Bozdağ said on Nov. 22 that the issue was “closed.” 

Speaking the previous day about the motion for the first time, Erdoğan suggest-ed that the problem should be “solved with a wide consensus,” urging the government to heed criticisms and suggestions from the entire spectrum of society.  

“I see a great benefit for the government in solving this issue through a broad consensus by paying attention to criticism and suggestions from different segments of the public,” he said. 

The age of consent in Turkey is 18, although courts permit civil marriages for people as young as 16. Some younger people are married in rural areas in religious ceremonies.