Parliament to inquire into sexual child abuses

Parliament to inquire into sexual child abuses

Parliament to inquire into sexual child abuses

CİHAN photo

Turkey’s Parliament decided on March 24 to establish an inquiry commission to conduct an in-depth probe into the alleged sexual abuse of children following news reports that eight male students were raped by their teacher at a private foundation in the Central Anatolian province of Karaman. 

The decision received approval from all four political parties in parliament following a tense debate late March 23, when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) rejected the opposition’s motion for an in-depth investigation on specific child abuse cases in Karaman. 

“The course of this debate has sometimes turned into a political competition. Just like us, the other parties have now opted for this, because we all know that some sensitivities are common and beyond political differences,” Naci Bostancı, the deputy parliamentary group leader of the AKP, told reporters after the parliamentary debate.   

The tension in parliament was heightened after Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) lawmakers submitted a motion for an in-depth investigation into allegations that a teacher was arrested for the alleged sexual abuse of the eight male students in Karaman. The teacher, identified as Muammer B., had been teaching private courses for students in apartments rented by the Karaman branch of the Ensar Foundation. He was arrested on March 13 upon a claim the 54-year-old man had raped eight of his male students in the apartments.

The MHP motion supported by other opposition parties was rejected by the votes of the majority AKP lawmakers. After a long quarrel in the general assembly, Bostancı had a meeting with his counterparts from the three opposition parties and expressed the intention to form a parliamentary inquiry commission to investigate all sorts of child abuse. 

“I want to draw attention to the fact that the issue of child abuse has a wide scope. This has a very [wide] dimension from street children to drug-addicted children and other sorts of abuse. Therefore, we will start a commission to deal with all these aspects,” Bostancı said.