Turkey’s Child Brides

By Burak Bedkil:

Where would you like your daughter to be when she is 13? In school, or in bed with a grown man? The answer to this question is largely beyond argument in much of the world. In Islamic societies, however — including non-Arab and theoretically secular Turkey — the answer is anyone’s guess. Usually in such states, the police power of the government does not fight the patriarchal tradition; instead, as in Turkey, it supports it:

  • 40% of girls under 18 in Turkey are forced into marriage (according to Turkish Philanthropy Funds).
  • In January 2018, a government body under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s jurisdiction suggested that, according to Islamic law, girls as young as 9 and boys as young as 12 could marry.
  • “Low education” means almost all of Turkey: The average schooling in the country is a mere 6.5 years.
  • In Turkey you may abuse a 13-year-old and walk free, but you may not tease the president.

Read more: Middle East Forum