A court in Turkey acquitted Abdulkerim J., a Syrian citizen living in Turkey, of sexually assaulting a child for the ignorance of the law on July 22, local media reported.
Abdulkerim J. was charged with a major crime of child sexual abuse, since he married a 13 years old child. Both Abdulkerim J. and the mother of the child were acquitted for the ignorance of the law.
Although attorneys reacted to the court's decision, the prosecutor ruled that the defendants did not act with criminal intent and thus their actions are not considered a crime.
Ceren Kalay Eken, an attorney from the Centre of the Rights of the Child in Ankara Bar Association, noted that the verdict is certain in Turkish penal code regarding children below the age of 15. Eken added that a 13-year-old child should be at school, instead of raising child.
The rate of child sexual abuse has increased by 700 percent over the last 10 years in Turkey.
While the ruling AKP government has been imposing Islamist perspective in the society, it propagated the marriage of a woman subjected to sexual abuse with her rapist and introduced a new law that categorised children as below and over the age of 12 regarding sexual crimes against children. This law was criticised for being based on Islamic law which defines the age of marriage as that of puberty, that can vary from child to child.