Turkey: how to tackle sexual abuse?

After two girls who had been declared missing were found dead - apparently after having been sexually abused - Turkish society is up in arms. The daily Cumhuriyet reported that over the last ten years the number of abuse cases has increased sevenfold compared to the previous decade. Turkish media discuss preventive measures and punishment for offenders.

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Milliyet (TR) /

Castration instead of the death penalty

Reintroducing the death penalty is no solution to the problem, Milliyet rails:

“Calls for the reintroduction of the death penalty are increasing exponentially. But could the death penalty deter such perverse monsters? Criminal law research has not produced a 'yes' in answer to this question. The fact is that these perverse, filthy monsters do not think about the consequences of their crimes before they commit them. Rather, they go about their despicable deeds in a state of delirium. Instead of killing them we should castrate them and sentence them to lifelong solitary confinement: cut them off completely from society.”

Evrensel (TR) /

AKP's draft law shields abusers

Evrensel explains why the amendment proposed by the AKP government could exacerbate the problem:

“The mitigation of sentences for good behaviour remains untouched, and the limitation period for child abuse won't be lifted. ... Horrendous punishments are foreseen for sex between minors. But if a child who has reached the age of sixteen is abused it comes under 'sexual intercourse with a minor'. ... Consequently, this draft law will not solve the existing problem of abuse and the government will merely create a possibility for future cases of abuse to be swept under the carpet.”

T24 (TR) /

The consequences of making sexuality taboo

The frequency of sexual abuse in Turkey has sociological causes, writes T24:

“We must admit that two points are extremely urgent and that we have repeatedly ignored our experiences in this respect. The first is that in this country the lives of children, women, animals and all the disadvantaged have no value. ... The other point is that the subject of sexuality is accepted as a major taboo and constantly suppressed and treated as non-existent. ... As long as we suppress and ignore sexuality our children in particular will face the dangerous consequences of this behaviour. We must concentrate on this fact and make our children aware of the potential dangers.”

Star (TR) /

Death penalty the only solution

The sexual abuse of children must be severely punished, Star demands:

“All the measures that have so far been proposed for dealing with these sickening 'tales of rape and murder' will continue to prove unsuccessful. The solution is not to give these scumbags a place in our social structure: we must cleanse our nation's body and soul of them once and for all, and annihilate (execute) them. ... The forced ban of the death penalty [in the context of rapprochement with the EU] was gravely misguided. It is now time to reverse this mistake. It makes no sense to ignore the calls for the death penalty which result from our concept of right and wrong, and which reflect the justified demands of our people.”