Turkey Moves Toward Passage Of Controversial “Marry Your Rapist” Law

Flag of Turkey

We have often discussed the struggle of women in Muslim countries in resisting religious-based requirements for coverings and limitations on their movements and interactions. Turkey was once the exception among these countries as a secular, modern nation. That was before the rise of Islamic parties under the authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey under Erdogan has already rolled back on protections for girls and women in abuse cases. Now the country is considering a horrific law aptly called the “marry-your-rapist” bill. Under this legislation, men accused of having sex with underaged girls could avoid punishment if they marry their victims.

We have discussed the continuing practice of forced marriages and sexual abuse of girls in Muslim countries, including clerics who insist that girls as young as nine are ready for marriage. This law would effectively allow men to buy their way out of punishment by striking a deal with a victim’s family. Since many girls come from poor families, the opportunity to buy your way out of a rape case is high.

Not only has Erdogan destroyed the country’s secular traditions but eviscerated civil liberties and press freedoms. Women quickly felt the pressure of his Islamic parties. Erdogan himself declared that a woman who did not bear children was “incomplete” and that equality with men was “against nature.” He declared bluntly “You cannot put women and men on an equal footing. It is against nature.”

A similar law was attempted years ago but now conservative and religious parties are trying again. A recent government report on child marriage estimated a total of 482,908 Turkish girls were married in the last decade.

63 thoughts on “Turkey Moves Toward Passage Of Controversial “Marry Your Rapist” Law”

  1. Deu 22:28-29 Says; If a man meets a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered. He shall pay her father 50 sheckles of silver and He must marry the young woman for he has violated her. He cannot divorce her as long as he lives. The point is this position is only draconian to we who govern ourselves. There are those who willing accept the teachings of Krishna, Buddah. Muhammed, Yhwh the hebrew God, & Jesus and willingly (submit) pledge to obey.

  2. Jonathan: It is certainly true that Turkey, under the reign of President Erdogan, has turned away from its prior secular traditions and embraced more draconian laws against the rights of women and girls. But Turkey is not the only offender. Right here at home Republican controlled legislatures have passed draconian measures to restrict a women’s right to control their own bodies through more and more abortion restrictions. Their ultimate goal is to overturn Roe v Wade and ban all abortions. Trump endorses these efforts. GOP Congress Steve King, a notorious racist and white nationalist, commented last year that the human population might not exist but for rape and incest. Many Republicans share King’s views but are afraid to be so outrageously outspoken. King and Erdogan apparently share the same views on the rights of women and girls to be free of sexual abuse. Now Republicans in both the House and Senate are pushing legislation, the “Born Alive Abortion Protection Act”, that would impose draconian prison time and fines on any doctor that allows a surviving infant of an abortion to die. How often does this occur? Infrequently. Between 2007 and 2014 the CDC identified only 143 cases, out of a total of 9.3 million abortions performed, where this occurred–most often because of maternal complication or a congenital anomaly. But this doesn’t stop Republicans from trying. If men had abortions you can be confident there would be no restrictions on their right to reproductive services! So after you point the finger of blame at Turkey take the time to analyze why Republicans apparently share Erdogan’s view that: “You cannot put women and men on an equal footing. It is against nature”.

  3. A welcome development in the published scholarly medical literature is the re-examining of fetal pain including the first trimester.

    Reconsidering fetal pain
    British Medical Journal, January 2020


    Fetal pain has long been a contentious issue, in large part because fetal pain is often cited as a reason to restrict access to termination of pregnancy or abortion. We have divergent views regarding the morality of abortion, but have come together to address the evidence for fetal pain. Most reports on the possibility of fetal pain have focused on developmental neuroscience. Reports often suggest that the cortex and intact thalamocortical tracts are necessary for pain experience. Given that the cortex only becomes functional and the tracts only develop after 24 weeks, many reports rule out fetal pain until the final trimester. Here, more recent evidence calling into question the necessity of the cortex for pain and demonstrating functional thalamic connectivity into the subplate is used to argue that the neuroscience cannot definitively rule out fetal pain before 24 weeks. We consider the possibility that the mere experience of pain, without the capacity for self reflection, is morally significant. We believe that fetal pain does not have to be equivalent to a mature adult human experience to matter morally, and so fetal pain might be considered as part of a humane approach to abortion.


    In 1983, President Ronald Reagan wrote an article in Human Life Review that (to our knowledge) first directly raised the possibility that the fetus can “respond to pain”.1 Subsequently, the possibility of fetal pain was raised in a review in the New England Journal of Medicine,2 an accompanying editorial,3 and a clinical trial examining the use of analgesia and anaesthesia for neonatal surgery.4 More recently, debate about fetal pain has become embroiled in discussions about abortion, and the possibility of fetal pain has been cited in several US laws aiming to restrict access to abortion.5

    The two authors of this paper have very different views on the morality of abortion. One of us believes that abortion is necessary for women’s health and autonomy, while the other believes that abortion violates the ethical principle of non-maleficence and ought to be restricted and discouraged. Regardless of our stark differences on this question, we both believe that our moral views on abortion should not interfere with discussion of whether fetal pain is possible and whether the science of fetal development can rule out the possibility of fetal pain. We also agree that if fetal pain is likely then that has ethical and clinical significance independent of any views on the morality of abortion per se . That said, it is also clear to us that the issue of fetal pain has ethical significance because of abortion practices and not because of other surgical or therapeutic fetal procedures.

    View Full Text – open access


  4. I guess everyone here who is in anti-abortion hates their mothers and their daughters.

    It’s your right to dislike abortion. It’s not your business to tell a woman whether or not they should have an abortion.

    Each time you males masturbate you are killing millions of unborn babies. You should all rot in prison for murder. Stop masturbating.

    1. It’s your right to dislike abortion. It’s not your business to tell a woman whether or not they should have an abortion.

      Yes it is. Abortion is a violent act against another person. This isn’t that difficult.

      Each time you males masturbate you are killing millions of unborn babies.

      I gather human biology was never your strong subject in school.

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