The head of the gender equality commission at the Turkish Parliament has called for trial without arrest for men accused of marrying children.
Radiye Sezer Katırcıoğlu, a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmaker from the northwestern province of Kocaeli, said at the commission that current measures meant child brides become victimized twice:
First when they get married and second when their “husband” is jailed pending trial.
“Underage marriage should definitely remain a crime and punishments should be dissuasive. However, family victimizations can be prevented if [abusers] are tried without arrest and on condition of judicial control,” Katırcıoğlu told state-run Anadolu Agency.
“One woman told me that she was married when she was underage with the consent of both herself and her family. She later delivered two babies, had a happy family and loved her husband. However, she was left alone after relatives filed a complaint regarding child marriage and her husband was arrested. There are nearly 3,000 families currently in a similar situation. A legal regulation must be made for this victimization to end,” she added.
Stating that the commission is “working on the issue,” Katırcıoğlu said one option was for the “husband” to be tried without arrest.
“The issue is open to debate and we could find other formulas,” she added.