The controversial “marry-your-rapist” bill is due to be introduced into the Turkish parliament at the end of January. A similar bill was defeated in Turkey in 2016 after outrage. This legislation would have only absolved men of their crimes if they had sex “without force or threat”. The newer legislation, then, appears to be a step up from previous attempts, something which has angered Turkish women’s rights campaigners.
They have claimed the legislation legitimises child marriage and statutory rape, also allowing child abuse and sexual exploitation in the process.
The opposition, People’s Democratic Party (HDP), is now urging the government to axe the legislation plans.
In 2016, United Nations agencies warned a bill of this kind could leave victims vulnerable to experiencing more mistreatment and abuse from their rapists.
The laws have been introduced in a number of places across the world, and have been tied into the idea of protecting the family’s “honour”.
The so-called ‘marry-your-rapist’ bill is scheduled to be introduced at the end of January (Image: Getty)
This protest placard says ‘The child will remain silent, you shouldn’t.’
Sad Abu-Dayyeh, a campaigner who specialises in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan for women and girl’s rights organisation, Equality Now, spoke to The Independent on the issue.
She said: “I applaud the brave work of women’s rights campaigners in Turkey who are taking a stand against this discriminatory bill and pushing back against regressive forces that are seeking to remove current legal protection for girls.
“Thanks to years of campaigning by women’s rights activists and lawmakers, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, and Palestine have all removed these loopholes in recent years.