This is the country that wants admittance to the EU? The more islamist it becomes, the more I am sickened by the behavior of the Turkish authorities.
Turkish court reduces sentences for men accused of raping 13-year-old
Human rights groups outraged by decision to give group of men shorter jail terms because the victim gave ‘consent’
Human rights groups have reacted with outrage after a Turkish appeals court reduced prison sentences for 26 men convicted of having sex with a 13-year-old girl, because the victim had given “consent”.
In a judgment this week, the court ruled that the sentence was based on the old Turkish penal code, under which rape of a minor could be punished with a minimum prison sentence of 10 years – unless the child consented.
Two women accused of having sold the girl – known only as NÇ – for sex have each been sentenced to nine years in prison, for leading “immoral lives”, but the 26 men, who include teachers, civil servants and a village elder, were given sentences ranging from one to six years.
Activists protesting outside Istanbul’s palace of justice on Friday called for the decision to be overturned.
“Is it necessary to discuss consent when 26 men rape a 13-year-old girl?” asked Nilgün Yurdalan, a women’s rights activist of the Istanbul Feminist Collective.
“We think that the government itself has committed a serious crime. This does not concern only the five judges, but the laws of this country, the mentality of the government and their view of women,” she said.
The supreme court said the sentence could, however, still be appealed, and that no further comments could be made on the case.
One of NÇ’s lawyers, Reyhan Yalçindag Baydemir, warned that further delay might lead to the case breaching the Turkish statute of limitations, which would result in all 26 defendants going free. The case will now also be reviewed by the European court of human rights.
The government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan has distanced itself from the ruling, and family and social policies minister Fatma Sahin called the sentence “unacceptable and worrying”.
Human rights activist Leman Yurtsever, who together with human rights lawyer Erin Keskin has been a foster mother to NÇ, told a local newspaper that the court ruling was a severe shock for the young woman, who had suffered severe injuries and trauma. NÇ, now 19, has just finished high school and plans to become a journalist or a lawyer.
According to statistics published by the justice ministry, killings of women in Turkey increased by 1,400% between 2002 and 2009.
Yurdalan said the figures reflect an increase in women’s willingness to report abuse, but also an increase in violence.
“Men in Turkey, be it husbands, fathers or politicians, cannot bear that women demand equal rights and make their voices heard,” she said.
Link to article.
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