Gov’t calls on CHP, MHP to present own proposals on sexual abuse of minors

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Turkish deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmuş

Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson and Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has called on the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to present their own proposals regarding the issue of rapists marrying child victims.

A bill was brought to Parliament last Thursday night by AKP deputies that paves the way for freeing more than 4,000 inmates convicted of rape. The move has attracted widespread criticism from women’s groups and opposition parties.

According to the bill, in cases of the sexual abuse of minors committed before Nov. 16 “without force or threat,” if the perpetrator has married his victim, the sentence will be suspended or the prosecution of the offense will be halted.

Speaking after a Cabinet meeting on Monday, Kurtulmuş said the bill would not apply to crimes of rape.

“If the CHP and the MHP have other proposals on this issue, we are open to them. If the CHP and MHP bring their own proposals on sexual abuse [of minors], we will discuss it,” said Kurtulmuş.

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