How an Extremist Government Treats Girls and Women

 

The scandal of the underage girls who gave birth was covered up by the administration of the hospital. They failed to inform either the police or judicial officials — even though they are obligated to do so by law and regulations when they discover a minor is pregnant or has been subjected to sexual abuse.

Instead, the social worker who exposed the scandal, Iclal Nergiz, has been persecuted by the hospital and other authorities. An investigation has been launched against her.

Sexual abuse against children in Turkey increased by 700% in the 10 years to 2017, according to the Diyarbakir Bar Association.

Sexual abuse against children in Turkey increased by 700% in the 10 years to 2017, according to the Diyarbakir Bar Association. 440,000 children under the age of 18 have given birth since 2002, according to Turkey's Human Rights Association. (Image source: iStock)

 

Turkey's Human Rights Association (IHD) has issued a chilling report about children's rights abuses in Turkey. According to it, “since 2002, under the AKP [Justice and Development Party] rule, 440,000 children under the age of 18 have given birth.”

“One in every four marriage in Turkey is a child marriage,” said Selen DoÄŸan, a member of Ankara-based Flying Broom Women's Communication and Research Association.

According to the Turkish Civil Code, men and women cannot marry before they turn 18.

    “There are only a few exceptions that allow someone to marry before turning 18. A 17-year-old person may be granted permission to be married with the consent of his/her parents or legal guardian; and a 16-year-old person may be granted permission to be married by a court decision and with the consent of his/her parents or legal guardian.”

Nonetheless, Zelal CoÅŸkun, a member of the Children's Rights Commission of the IHD, said that child marriages have been on the rise in recent years:

    “According to the data of TÜÄ°K [Turkish Statistical Institute], in the last 10 years, 482,908 [underage] girls have been married off with the permission of the state. In the last six years, 142,298 have become mothers and most got married in religious [Islamic] ceremonies.”

These abusive acts take place in many parts of the world, but in Muslim societies the practice of underage marriages is warmly tolerated by many; in some instances, the perpetrators are protected by the authorities. That Islamic scriptures encourage early marriages — for girls as young as nine — also seems to be used to normalize abusive acts, including child marriages and underage mothers. Sadly, the practice of child marriages, a long-lasting tradition in Muslim communities, has a theological basis. Muhammad, the founder of Islam, married Aisha when she was six and consummated his marriage with her when she was nine. He was 54 years old. The Koran also advocates the practice.

“A List of Shame That Will Shatter Turkey,” is the title of a report published by the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet, which includes the names of 115 underage girls who gave birth at just one Istanbul hospital, Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Education and Research Hospital, during just five months in 2017.

Worse, the scandal was covered up by the administration of the hospital. They failed to inform either the police or judicial officials — even though they are obligated to do so by law and regulations when they discover a minor is pregnant or has been subjected to sexual abuse.

Instead, the social worker who exposed the scandal, Iclal Nergiz, has been persecuted by the hospital and other authorities. An investigation has been launched against her, her place of work has been changed twice and she has been exposed to heavy pressure and harassment. “Ever since the incident was exposed, nothing has changed except for my punishment [by the hospital],” Nergiz said in one interview.

“The hospital officials think that I have betrayed the country and that I have destroyed the image of the hospital! I am exposed to a policy of oppression and intimidation.” Nergiz said in another interview.

Click here to read the remainder of this article on gatestoneinstitute.org

UCI Comments - join the discussion!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: