Shocked Turkish citizens rise up against the motion that legitimizes child abuse

Demonstrations in the conservative Kayseri

We had previously reported on Turkey’s ruling AKP’s proposal to let perpetrators of sexual abuse crimes evade jail time, if they marry their victims. Since then, protests have been taking place around the country.

Demonstrations range from one old woman hanging a sign from her window at Ordu, to the more traditional marches taking place in major cities. Denizli, Kayseri, Adana, Antalya, Balikesir, Bursa, Izmir, Eskisehir, Ankara, Edirne and Istanbul are the places that saw the heaviest media coverage, due to women’s rights organizations and student groups leading the efforts there.

Ismail Bilen, an AKP representative, defended the motion by saying that they were only trying to address people “who ran away together and married young”, and labeled the people opposed to it (on the grounds that it can help people with malicious intent towards children) as slanderers.

Pro-Kurdish HDP’s provincial chairman for Istanbul, Dogan Erbas, declared that his party decided to take part in the parliamentary meetings to vote against the motion. HDP have been boycotting the general assembly sessions since the arrest of the joint heads of their party, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag.

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