Briefing on Turkey’s child protection debate


22 February 2018

Turkey’s politicians are united in their commitment to increasing child protection, but remain deeply divided on how it can be achieved

  • In response to public pressure, the government is preparing to introduce tougher measures against child abuse
  • But critics say that the government has failed to take the issue of underage marriages seriously, weakening state protections in favour of religious reforms
  • The government rejects this, and instead argues that it is taking a pragmatic approach to a problem that previously went largely unaddressed

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has announced plans for new legislation to tackle child abuse after a series of high-profile incidents caused widespread public outcry. President Erdogan has instructed six ministries to develop proposals to address the problem. This will include tougher punishments for offenders, with Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul indicating that the government is considering introducing measures such as chemical castration…

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