Ruling party hopes to combat rising divorce rates

Ruling party hopes to combat rising divorce rates

Bülent Sarıoğlu - ANKARA
Ruling party hopes to combat rising divorce rates

DHA photo

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is hoping to stem Turkey’s rising tide of divorces, as the new government’s first action since retaining its parliamentary majority in the Nov. 1 general election.

In 2014, the number of divorces increased to 131,000 across Turkey, and the AKP is set to introduce the issue to the General Assembly meetings this week. During sessions, it plans open a parliamentary inquiry commission on “the causes of divorces and finding measures to prevent them.”

AKP Çankırı deputy Hüseyin Filiz and his party colleagues proposed to form of a parliamentary research commission on the issue, which is due to be debated in parliament on Dec. 8. The AKP has already informed the opposition parties that a commission on the issue will be formed.

Marriage rates have decreased and divorce rates have increased in recent years in Turkey, despite the country’s relatively youthful population. 

The AKP’s debate proposal said divorces had increased by 4.5 percent in 2014 compared to the previous year.

“In 2014, some 599,704 new marriages took place. At 7.8 per thousand people, the marriage rate saw a drop of 1 per thousand compared to previous year. On the other hand, the divorce rate increased by 4.5 percent, with 130,913 divorces in 2014. The divorce rate was 1.7 per thousand people,” it stated.

In 2014, some 39.6 percent of divorces were among couples who had been married for less than five years.

Some 21.8 percent of divorces were between marriages that lasted between six and 10 years. 

“All these numbers show that the family, which is the most fundamental part of society, has been damaged.

There will be more problems if no measures are taken now,” said the AKP’s proposal.  

Two recent proposals by opposition parties to form parliamentary research commissions have been controversially rejected since the reconvening of parliament after the election.

On Nov. 30, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) proposed to open a parliamentary commission on the killing of Diyarbakır Bar Association head Tahir Elçi in the Sur district of Diyarbakır on Nov. 28. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) also demanded on the same day to start a commission on “press freedom and the public’s right to receive news.” Both requests were rejected with the votes of ruling AKP deputies.