A last-minute bill was proposed on 17 November 2016 to the General Assembly of GNAT (Grand National Assembly of Turkey) by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) İstanbul Deputy Mehmet Muş, İstanbul Deputy Halis Dalkılıç, Kocaeli Deputy İlyas Şeker, Kırıkkale Deputy Ramazan Can, Hatay Deputy Hacı Bayram Türkoğlu and Osmaniye Deputy Mücahit Durmuşoğlu.
The bill proposes the suspension and consequent pardoning following the limitation period, of the crimes of sexual harassment perpetrated prior to 16 November 2016 if the perpetrator marries the victim.
In addition to this bill, the ruling party currently discusses whether to lower the age of consent for sexual intercourse to 12 by means of making amendments to the Art. no 103 of the Turkish Penal Code (TPC) despite objections of women’s organizations. If the named article passes into low as suggested above, the majority of the perpetrators who are currently on trial or will be on trial as convicts of sexual abuse will have the right to assert that the child gave consent and avoid punishment. Thus, the amendments to this article of the TCC, as well as the bill proposed will put in place both retrospective and prospective regulations.
Women’s organizations immediately reacted and wrote a declaration ” We will not accept any bill” signed also by Turkish Association of University Women.
TO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
TO MARRYING OFF THE VICTIM CHILD WITH THE RAPIST
TO AMNESTY TO THE RAPISTS
We will not accept any bill that legitimizes “rape” of women and children.
The AKP’s bill on marrying off the children with their rapists and sexual harassers should immediately be withdrawn!
With the amendment to the Article No.103, the age of consent for sexual intercourse will be lowered to 12 from 15 and the perpetrators of ongoing criminal suits and those who will be convicted of sexual harassment in the future will be exempt from criminal punishment.
The bill proposed on the night of 17 November paves the way to retrospective remission of punishment for the sexual harassers. The bill aims at pardoning of the past sexual crimes and the releasing of child sexual harassers.
The “legal ground” is being laid down that will result in sexual violence against girls aged 12 and above and in marrying off them with their sexual harassers.
Both the amnesty bill proposed as a fait accompli and approved with the votes of AKP and the amendment to the Article No.103 that will result in lowering of the legal age of consent to 12, are against the rights of the child and woman and violate international obligations. Therefore, they cannot be accepted under any circumstances. Threats and violence against the vested rights of women and girls have exponentially increased in Turkey. Among the most dangerous of all these threats are the amendment to the Article No.103 of TPC and the bill approved unanimously by AKP deputies, which might be passed into law at any moment. The article stating “releasing the perpetrator in cases where the perpetrator marries the victim” was amended with the campaigns of the women’s organizations during the TPC Reform in 2004 when the TPC Woman Platform demanded that the foregoing article be changed. Approval of the proposed amendment and the bill means that this article will be restored in law again. And this, beyond any doubt, will be a regression in the vested legal rights of the women and girls!
While there is a worldwide fight against child sexual abuse, and forced marriages and child marriages are prohibited and the minimum age of marriage is increased around the world, the course of events in Turkey is extremely worrisome. Those who wish to lower the age of consent to 12, who have proposed the amnesty bill for the convicts of child sexual abuse and those who approved the bill should urgently reverse this wrong. Doing otherwise, will lead to irreversible consequences and marks the usurpation of the rights of the children and women by the Parliament, the representatives of the public.
To correct this dire mistake,
WE CALL ON
all political parties at the GNAT, the press and media organizations, the sensible public, and notably all the women to;
Support the fight for the protection of the current legal rights of women and children,
Support the withdrawal of the bill and demand that the Amendment to Article No.103 to be done in collaboration with the organizations for women’s and children’s rights so as to avoid the victimization of children,
Support us to remove the Article No.103 of TPC from the omnibus bill prior to the session to be held at the GNAT on 18 November at 14:00 during which this omnibus bill will be voted on.
17+ Alevi Kadınlar
Adana Büyük Şehir Belediyesi Kent Konseyi Kadın Meclisi
Akdam – Adana Kadın Dayanışma Merkezi ve Sığınmaevi Derneği
Ankara Kadın Platformu
Antalya Feminist Kolektif
Antalya Kadın Danışma Merkezi ve Dayanışma Derneği
Ayvalık Bağımsız Kadın İnisiyatifi
Bodrum Kadın Dayanışma Derneği
Buca Evka-1 Kadın Kültür Ve Dayanışma (Bekev)
Cinsel Şiddetle Mücadele Derneği
Çanakkale El Emeğini Değerlendirme Ve Kadın Danışma Merkezi -Elder
Çiğli Evka-2 Kadın Kültür Derneği (Çekev)
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Engelli Kadın Derneği – Enkad
Eşitiz – Eşitlik İzleme Derneği
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Günebakan Kadın Derneği
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İzmir Kadın Dayanışma Derneği
Ka.Der – Kadın Adayları Destekleme Derneği Ankara Şubesi
Kadav – Kadınlarla Dayanışma Vakfı
Kadın Cinayetlerine Karşı Acil Önlem Grubu
Kadın Dayanışma Vakfı
Kadın Emeği Derneği
Kadın Özgürlük Meclisi
Kadının İnsan Hakları – Yeni Çözümler Derneği
KESK Kadın Meclisi
Kırmızı Biber Derneği
Kırmızı Şemsiye Cinsel Sağlık Ve İnsan Hakları Derneği
Koza Kadın Derneği
Lezbiyen Biseksüel Feministler
Menteşe Kent Konseyi Kadın Meclisi
Mersin Bağımsız Kadın Derneği
Mor Çatı Kadın Sığınağı Vakfı
Özgür Genç Kadın
TCK 103 Kadın Çalışma Grubu
TTB Kadın Hekimlik Kadın ve Sağlığı Kolu
Türk Kadınlar Birliği
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Türk Üniversiteli Kadınlar Derneği
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