Turkey’s Constitutional Court Strikes Down Law Making Sex With Girls Under 15 Sexual Abuse

150px-muslim_woman_in_yemenLike many Muslim countries, Turkey has a long and troubling history of child brides and arranged marriages. Some Islamic clerics have maintained that there can be no age limitation on child brides. They often note that Muhammad married Aisha when she was seven and consummated the marriage at nine years old.Just as Pakistan recently struck down its protection for girls from such abuse, the Turkish Constitutional Court annulled a provision that punishes all sexual acts against children under the age of 15 as “sexual abuse.” It is a major set back for girls and women in Turkey and another example of how the Islamic fundamentalists have taken over this once secular country under the authoritarian rule of our ally Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

A lower court insisted that the law is flawed for failing to distinguish between a four-year-old and a fourteen-year-old girl. Most people would find that distinction hard to stomach, but we have seen child brides as young as six in Muslim countries. The lower court also insisted that “consent” must be considered as a defense for girls between the ages of 12 and 15.

Recently, the same members annulled a provision that imposed at least 16 years of imprisonment in cases of child rape for the same reasons.

The vote was a close one: 7-6. However, with Erdoğan taking over every aspect of Turkish government and life, it is doubtful that the courts will remain divided in the future. Erdoğan has demanded that courts, journalists, teachers and every other profession adhere to his views at the risk of arrest.

International conventions treat 18 are the age of majority. International groups have condemned the decision as reinforcing the practice of child brides and the six dissenting members have called the ruling a cause for “public indignation.”

In the meantime, the Erdoğan regime has continued its demands that other countries shutdown media critical of the president or Turkey. It has officially protested stories in Western media on the stripping away of these laws protecting young girls. Erdoğan has been empowered in his efforts to silence the media after Angela Merkel caved into his demands that a comedian be charged for insulting him. Erdoğan has also been encouraged by the Obama Administration’s continued support even as he has rounded up critics, shut down media, and impose Islamic rules on the population.

114 thoughts on “Turkey’s Constitutional Court Strikes Down Law Making Sex With Girls Under 15 Sexual Abuse

  1. BNTI: But Not The Irish!
    Black Labs but no Irish humans. Irish Setters are fine. Not Irish Settlers. See the movie Blazing Saddles.

  2. Autumn: I hadn’t.

    That was hilarious. Hillary Supporter has that great Ben Stein tone in his drawl.

    “If I were concerned with accountability in the slightest, I might be concerned about my words.”

    “How dare you question the integrity of a strong woman with a hyphenated name!”

  3. @Steve

    Jimmy Dore IMO is fabulous – real issues tempered by dark humour. As is Lee Camp and Tim Black. So much going on it’s hard to keep up!! =)

  4. Autumn, I’m a fan of the Jimmer, too.

    I watched a video a couple of years ago from Tim Black. It was my first one and I became an instant fan. I hate to admit it, but it was so funny even though it was a segment about a couple of armed kids robbing and getting instant karma at a Waffle House and the mother of one of them saying “why’d ya have to go and kill my baby!”:

    My favorite line was . . . “scare the hell out of some innocent people who were just tryin’ to enjoy some waffles or pancakes, scrambled eggs, grits, toast, sausage, what-have-you. And don’t forget the bacon.”

  5. @Steve

    thanx for sharing that! I only discovered Tim due to Bernie Sanders. Love him dearly!! I had hoped to meet him in Philly but life intervened – my car radiator cost 600 bucks. So went “down ticket” and sent a small sum to other regional activists who were going. Hey, we are doing well! Tulsi kept her seat in HI despite the DNC opposition and we are pulling for Tim Canova vs DWS as well as other Progressives!

  6. Marx wrote not a word about the state as part of his economic theory. Marxism was about private production owned by those who are the producers. That’s the flaw in your argument that Stalinism represents Marxism. Stalinism was totalitarian, and so is socialism which resides in the state. Furthermore, according to Wolff, Marx wrote not one word on socialism or communism. His general goal was to move beyond capitalism by criticizing its failure to provide freedom, equality, and fraternity, as in our current system.

    No, Steve. His intellectual project was a theory of everything in social relations both cross-sectionally and historically. It had nothing to do with pursuing any decent thing and his contention was that he had unlocked the key to historical dynamics which would unfold in such and such a way.

    He also, of course, founded organizations devoted to political agitation.

    And your contention, of course, is that everyone gets it wrong time and again. Over a period of 106 years no one crafts a workable application, and then the salient actors give up (and, of course, it has nothing to do with the deficiencies in his social theory).

  7. Autumn: Awesome! I’ll have to listen to tonight’s show.

    Art Deco writes, “And your contention, of course, is that everyone gets it wrong time and again. Over a period of 106 years no one crafts a workable application, and then the salient actors give up (and, of course, it has nothing to do with the deficiencies in his social theory).”

    You don’t know anything about Marxism or you wouldn’t be saying it’s about state action or that there were deficiencies in it because it’s never been applied anywhere.

    What you’re implying is Marxism is really only a precursor to Marxism, one that never makes the transition from rebellion to government control of production to private ownership of production after the move out of capitalism takes place. Marxism is about private ownership of surplus by those who produce it. Stalin made no bones about the state owning production – he just took it. That’s not Marxism. Yours is the false narrative here. That’s my contention.

  8. @ “art deco”

    I celebrate “political agitation” wow oh wow. the amazing people I’ve met through Berniebots and Trumpsters alike – I can only celebrate their efforts!!!

    We are coming from very different directions but we are UNITED in throwing off the corporate yoke!

    We will ensure that HRC does not enter the WH. No TPP!!!!!!

  9. You don’t know anything about Marxism or you wouldn’t be saying it’s about state action or that there were deficiencies in it because it’s never been applied anywhere.

    George Will relates a story about his sojourn living in England (1962-64). He was at a cocktail party and one of the local Trots tells him that proof of Trotsky’s far-sightedness was that none of his predictions have come true yet.

    • Art Deco: It’s interesting that Marx was exiled from Germany, France, and Belgium, lived in London for the majority of his life, and is buried there. It’s also relevant that Trotsky fled for his life when Stalin took power, settled in Mexico City where he engaged other anti-capitalists such as Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and their community of friends, where Stalin found and had him assassinated. How you believe Stalin was a Marxist dictator and somehow the “Soviet tragedy” (I think that’s how you put it) was the result of Marxism needs further explanation, and without it is a waste of the effort to contemplate it.

      As for Will and Trotsky’s predictions, it’s a bit hard to have anything come true when the wealthy pay lots of money to impose blind ignorance on conservative pseudo-intellects like Will’s to brainwash the proletariat with biased yellow journalism. As for some of the crap coming out of Will’s mouth, I remember listening to him a few years back stumping on an major network Sunday morning show that we must chose to protect western Europe as opposed to other cultures on other continents on the basis that western Europe is “our” heritage. That may be his heritage, but he’s got his horse blinders on, and probably for less than noble reasons unless you think spewing crap from money is noble. He’s a well-read guy, and I respect that, but his intellect needs to be rewired for a compromised circuit.

  10. As for Will and Trotsky’s predictions, it’s a bit hard to have anything come true when the wealthy pay lots of money to impose blind ignorance on conservative pseudo-intellects like Will’s to brainwash the proletariat with biased yellow journalism.

    The terms ‘yellow journalism’ and ‘pseudo-intellectual’ do not mean what you think they mean.

    Trotsky did not dispute the Soviet Union’s status as a ‘socialist state’. Max Schachtman (and the young Irving Howe) left the Socialist Workers Party over just that issue.

    • Art Deco: A “socialist state” is an oxymoron, let alone not Marxian.

      I don’t know of Max Schachtman and the young (or old) Irving Howe.

      As for the definitions, we all have an opinion, . . .

  11. Steve G:

    I am not disingenuous, but rather sincere.

    Capitalism is the natural state of a human being. You have an idea for a good or service, you sell it, people agree upon a price, and you buy it. In socialism, no matter how hard you work, you get the same money as the guy who won’t work. In times of crisis, people often turn to capitalism. People sell their extra eggs and produce, babysit, or offer services such as building or fixing things. That’s the essence of capitalism. It’s pay-to-play politics that gives crony capitalism its bad name. Take the money out of politics, and hold big corporations to the same laws as the rest of us, and it’s fair.

    There is nothing inherently sinful or wrong with those who have a talent for success to keep being successful until they are filthy rich unless they amassed wealth through illegal or unethical means. But merely earning a lot of money does not suddenly make a good man into an evil one. People who feel like they have plenty of money often turn to philanthropy to pay it forward. Are filthy rich philanthropists bad people? Filthy rich warlords or arms dealers, sure, but what about J K Rowling? She was a financially struggling divorcee with kids, writing her stories on yellow legal pads. Now she has more money than God. Good for her, I say.

    If you don’t like capitalism or socialism, then what paradigm are you looking for?

    The ethics of capitalism depends upon the construct upon which it operates. For instance, Communist China uses capitalism to its purposes, but it is overlaid upon a system in which individual citizens have few rights and no free speech. The government doesn’t care if it pollutes the environment or its workers, and it has labor camps. Obviously, its forays into capitalism will be hurt anyone or anything for money.

    On the other hand, operate capitalism over a set of laws in which there are strong individual rights and free speech, and you have a fair system. No one is forced to buy anything they don’t want. The price is set by market forces. Have a great idea? You can make a business out of it and be a success.

    It seems to be the thing to do for academics and other intellectuals to poo poo capitalism. For some inexplicable reason, they admire socialism or communism, completely disregarding the fact that such experiments have been done many times before with the same result. In Industrial socialism, everyone starves equally except for those in government who live like pashas. But the academics in universities today just love this system. They believe that if they could only be in charge, it would all turn out differently. I have a friend from Ukraine who said that her family had a black market business, because capitalism was illegal. They ate better and had warmer clothes than their neighbors, but they lived in fear that they would be found out and turned in for owning a business. Pathetic.

    If everyone shares everything regardless of merit or effort, it is unfair. If everyone gets paid the same regardless of effort, skill, training, or talent, then it is unfair.

    What IS fair is a meritocracy, and the freedom to buy or sell anything you want as long as you don’t hurt anyone or the environment.

    • Karen S writes, “Capitalism is the natural state of a human being. You have an idea for a good or service, you sell it, people agree upon a price, and you buy it. In socialism, no matter how hard you work, you get the same money as the guy who won’t work. In times of crisis, people often turn to capitalism. People sell their extra eggs and produce, babysit, or offer services such as building or fixing things. That’s the essence of capitalism. It’s pay-to-play politics that gives crony capitalism its bad name. Take the money out of politics, and hold big corporations to the same laws as the rest of us, and it’s fair.
      There is nothing inherently sinful or wrong with those who have a talent for success to keep being successful until they are filthy rich unless they amassed wealth through illegal or unethical means. But merely earning a lot of money does not suddenly make a good man into an evil one. People who feel like they have plenty of money often turn to philanthropy to pay it forward. Are filthy rich philanthropists bad people? Filthy rich warlords or arms dealers, sure, but what about J K Rowling? She was a financially struggling divorcee with kids, writing her stories on yellow legal pads. Now she has more money than God. Good for her, I say.
      If you don’t like capitalism or socialism, then what paradigm are you looking for? . . .”

      Karen, I’m a Wolffist (i.e., a follower of the economic ideas of Richard Wolff, Ph.D., who describes himself as a Marxist). Anyone who would knowingly describe himself or herself as a believer in capitalism in this era is either ignorant and/or selfish, or describing peer compulsion and government propaganda which results in having to survive under that economic system.

      Capitalism is a crap system, and for every person who thinks he or she has become financially successful under, it has left ten by the wayside. People should be working together, not against each other. Greed is learned, not inherited.

      Here’s a short video from Dr. Wolff on “How Class Works”:

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