Police save 14-year-old girl from forced marriage in Turkey’s southeast
Officials from the provincial directorate of the Family and Social Policies Ministry took action after they were informed about an underage marriage in Mardin’s Kızıltepe district.
The directorate formed a crisis desk for the incident while trying to gather information about the girl. Upon an investigation they found the phone number of the girl’s aunt, who denied knowing anything about the planned marriage.
Police also started searching wedding halls in the district, detecting an “underage wedding” in one of the wedding halls after a five-hour search.
A further investigation has been opened into the incident and the girl has been taken under state protection.
The provincial head of the ministry, Hüsnü Bengin Efetürk, said they carried out the operation with a team of 12 people.
“Family and Social Policy Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya and Mardin Governor Mustafa Yaman closely tracked the case. The girl was saved by a margin of minutes. We got just a phone number and we were able to save the girl at the last minute,” Efetürk said.
“It was very risky for us to take the girl from the wedding ceremony. We waited until the ceremony had ended. The home address of the family was also detected. Our work lasted until 6 a.m. The girl is now under state protection. She was shocked when we first saved her but now she is in a good condition. I hope she will get even better,” he added.
Meanwhile, police detected that the bride and the 24-year-old groom were dual citizens of Syria and Turkey. The families of the bride and groom reportedly arrived in Turkey six years ago and family members have been detained as part of the investigation.