Child Brides In Turkey | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Child Brides In Turkey

Authored by Burak Bekdil via The Gatestone Institute,

Where would you like your daughter to be when she is 13? In school, or in bed with a grown man? The answer to this question is largely beyond argument in much of the world. In Islamic societies, however -- including non-Arab and theoretically secular Turkey -- the answer is anyone's guess. Usually in such states, the police power of the government does not fight the patriarchal tradition; instead, it supports it.

Turkey's president from 2007 to 2014, was a 30-year-old man when he married his wife Hayrünnisa (right) when she was 15 years old. (Photo by NATO press office via Getty Images)

According to Turkish Philanthropy Funds (TPF), 40% of girls under the age of 18 in Turkey are forced into marriage. TPF found that the Turkish national average of female high school dropouts was 56%. It further found that early marriage is seen in families with a low education level. "Low education" means almost all of Turkey: The average schooling in the country is a mere 6.5 years. In 45 Turkish provinces, the schooling rate is below the national average.

The Islamist rule in the once secular country has added to the problem of child brides instead of combating it. In November 2017, President Erdo?an signed the "mufti law," which allows state-approved clerics (or simply imams) to conduct marriage ceremonies, "despite concerns from civil society that this could have an impact on child marriage."

In January 2018, the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) -- a government body under Erdo?an's jurisdiction -- suggested that according to Islamic law, girls as young as 9 years old and boys as young as 12 could marry. Diyanet is responsible for administering religious institutions in Turkey. Its website reaffirmed that, according to Islamic law, whoever had reached the age of "adolescence" had the right to marry. This "fatwa" prompted the country's main opposition party, a secular group, to call for an investigation into child marriages.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If Turkey seriously wants to become fully accepted into the family of 21st century nations, this practice has got to stop, period, end of discussion.

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