Top Turkish court rules to re-open probe on abuse during under-aged marriage
Oya Armutçu – ANKARAThe Constitutional Court has ruled for a local public chief prosecutor’s office to re-investigate a sexual abuse charge in a case involving a woman who had a religious wedding while 16 years old, after the office dropped the probe claiming lack of evidence.
The top Turkish court ruled that the ban on torture and maltreatment was breached during the plaintiff’s religious marriage to a 24-year-old man, identified only by the initials A.L.
It ordered the Kayseri Public Prosecutor’s Office to reopen the investigation based on accusations by the plaintiff, identified only as Z.C., after the case was dropped on the grounds that she pressed charges against the man one year after the alleged abuse took place, while there was insufficient evidence for the charges of threat and verbal assault.
In its decision to drop the case, the prosecutor’s office had said sexual relationship probes concerning those under the legal age of 18 are initiated upon complaints, and the legal time period within which to press such charges was six months.
After the dropping of the probe, Z.C. appealed to the Boğazlıyan Heavy Penal Court to restart the investigation, but her appeal was also denied, prompting her to resort to the Constitutional Court.
Evaluating the case, the court found that there was sufficient evidence to proceed with the prosecution and ruled for the local prosecutor’s office to relaunch a probe into the accusations.