TURKISH MPs have lent their backing to a disgusting new bill which will make child rape legal for men who then go on to marry their victims.
But critics have reacted with open fury to the legislation, saying it officially legitimises both deliberate child rape and forced child marriages. It comes after a shocking rise in violence against women in Turkey, which has risen by 40 per cent in the past decade.
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The shocking bill, which sill surely provoke an astonished reaction from the EU, was approved on a preliminary basis yesterday after being put to parliament by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Opposition MP Ozgur Ozel raged: “Sexual abuse is a crime and there is no consent in it. This is what the AKP fails to understand.
“Seeking the consent of a child is something that universal law does not provide for.”
MPs will have a second vote on the new legislation on Tuesday at which point, if the ballot goes the same way, it will be officially passed into Turkish law.
It is estimated that the change in the law would quash the convictions of some 3,000 men accused of assaulting an under-18.
The government says this will happen if their act was committed without “force or threat” and if the aggressor marries the victim with the consent of their family.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said it could help couples who have engaged in consensual sex and want to marry.
He said: “When a child is then born from this non-official union, the doctor warns the prosecutor and the man is sent to prison, putting the child and mother into financial difficulties.”
Turkey is becoming an increasingly dangerous place for women under President Erdogan’s Islamist regime, with statistics showing the murder rate increased by a jaw-dropping 1,400% per cent between 2003 and 2010.