Turkish deputy proposes ‘license to marry’

Turkish deputy proposes ‘license to marry’

ANKARA - Doğan News Agency
Turkish deputy proposes ‘license to marry’

DHA Photo

A deputy from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has raised some eyebrows by suggesting to issue a “license to marry” for men, days after he stirred controversy by stressing “the honor of the neighborhood.”

“If [domestic violence] occurs between married couples so frequently,” said İsmet Uçma, an Istanbul deputy and one of the founders of the AKP, “let’s introduce something like a license to marry.”

Uçma said domestic violence can be controlled by measures that will “prioritize the family” through methods like opening centers to advise couples and individuals on the matter. He did not elaborate on the details of the proposed license to marry, such as which institution or official is considered to issue it.

“I hope my suggestion will not be portrayed in a different way. I am bringing an offer. And I face violence because of my offer,” Uçma claimed.

Uçma had triggered uproar late last month with another suggestion on the matter. Speaking on the much reported failure of the “panic button” project – in which women carry a device that they could push to call the police when they are in danger of violence – Uçma had said “the honor of the neighborhood” concept could replace panic buttons. 

Uçma, a member of the parliamentary commission to investigate violence against women, later said his words were misunderstood as he was referring to the “neighborhood not as a place, but as a culture.” He also denied that he called for vigilantism or a neighborhood watch program.