Outrage as government in Turkey proposes ‘marry your rapist’ law (The Guardian, Feb.7, 2020

The Turkish government is making its second bid to introduce a law granting amnesty to child rapists in Turkey if they marry their victim, provoking outrage across the country.If passed into law, perpetrators would be given suspended sentences for child sex offences if they marry their victim provided the age difference is no more than ten years.This comes just four years after a similar bill was proposed, where men guilty of assaulting a minor would be released from prison on the condition that they marry the victim and that the act of assault was committed “without force or threat”.While strong opposition from civil society ensured that it was not passed into law, this bill sparked widespread condemnation across the country and captured the attention of thousands across the globe.The legal age of consent in Turkey is 18 but the new bill would effectively legitimize forced child marriage and statutory rape. Turkey  abolished laws of this nature in 2005 but now appears to be regressing into the past.President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s conservative Justice and Development party (AKP) claims that the new bill is set to tackle Turkey’s significant problem of child marriage.But Turkish activist group We Will Stop Femicide  estimates that over 2,600 women have been killed from gender-based violence in the past ten years. Furthermore, UN figures show that 38% of Turkish women have been victims of physical or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime.