New bill in Turkey suggests for sexual harassers of children to marry the victims
AKP’s latest bill suggesting certain changes in Turkey’s current law of criminal procedures has caused heated reactions and arguments. In an article of the bill, AKP government proposed for the execution of sentences of those convicted with sexual harassment to be suspended if the harasser gets married with the victim.
Below is the text of the relevant article of the recently proposed bill: “Unless the harasser had used force, threat, deceit, or another way of impinging free will, sentences for crimes of sexual harassment perpetrated before 11/16/2016 get suspended or sentencing is postponed, if the perpetrator marries the victim. If this marriage dissolves, within the statue of limitations, because of a fault of the perpetrator, the sentence is announced, or, executed if it had already been announced…”
The bill was brought to Parliament floor last night (November 17) and approved by the Parliament for it to be further discussed next Tuesday.
Justice Minister Bozdağ: ‘The proposal is about acts done with the consent of the little one…’
Turkey’s Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ also gave statements on this recent bill proposing amendments on law of legal procedures, claiming that those opposing to the bill are trying to ‘distort the truth’. Arguing that this ‘regulation does not cover rapists’, Bozdağ said: “…Because of a regulation of the year 2005, there are now many people facing 16 years jail time. These people are not rapists. These are not people who have involved in sexual harassment through force. They are people who have done it with the consent of the families and the little one…”
Further expressing that the current law does not take ‘cultural or traditional’ contexts and factors into consideration, Bozdağ said that the law only looks as the legal age of consent, which is what AKP’s bill suggests to be changed.
Bozdağ also said their proposal will be applied retrospectively.
Although Bozdağ argued that the regulation does not apply to ‘rapists’ or ‘child molesters’, the implications of the text suggest otherwise.
Pro-AKP author: ‘For our culture, 18 is not proper as the age of consent’
Pro-AKP author Vahdettin İnce was a guest speaker at an evening programme on CNN Türk last night along with other guests, CHP Bursa MP Nurhayat A. Kayışoğlu and Prof. Bahadır Erdem.
İnce’s comments on proposed bill spurred reactions among guests, officials, as well as, the public. Claiming that designation of 18 as the legal age for consent was not suiting the culture of Turkey, İnce argued that ‘these kinds of impositions are Western-oriented and do not have to fit in with all cultures’. İnce defended that ‘a child at age of 12 or 13 should be able to get married if they wanted.’