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Marrying Victims Disgrace: Way for 1000s of Rapists and Child Sex Offenders to Avoid Jail in Turkey

12 July 2016 16:39

Marrying Victims: Way for 1000s of Rapists and Child Sex Offenders to Avoid Jail in Turkey

 

Thousands of sex offenders in Turkey are marrying their victims in a bid to avoid going to jail, the head of the country’s supreme court has warned.

According to Mustafa Demirdag, the head of the court’s appeal department, around 3,000 such marriages have been officially registered where the victim has tied the knot with her attacker.

The figures were revealed after the Turkish parliament set up a commission to investigate and prevent sexual crimes in the country.

He said that the rules could impact adults and children as young as five and added that type of marriage was ‘not acceptable’.

He told the Turkish news website Milliyet: ‘It is cruel to force someone to marry a person she does not want and force her to spend the rest of the her life with him.’

Mr Demirdag also pointed to a case where one girl had been kidnapped and raped by three men, but when one married her, the sentences of all of them were lifted.

He also talked about a case of a 15-year-old girl who fell in love with a boy in her neighbourhood.

The head of the appeals court added: ‘She called the boy on the phone that night and said she would commit suicide if he did not come to kidnap her. Then the boy kidnapped her.

‘Afterwards they [got] married according to the norms of the neighbourhood. When the case came to us, they were already married officially and they had three kids.

‘Before the [new] law came into force, the boy would have been sentenced to a minimum eight years and four months [in prison].’

Mr Demirdag’s comments come after last year a Turkish court sentenced three men to life in prison over the murder and attempted rape of a 20-year-old student, Daily Mail reported.

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