Turkish government considers chemical castration for child abusers

A commission of six ministries held its first meeting on Feb. 22 as part of a three-day workshop aimed at discussing increased measures against child molesters. AKP government's planned regulations would cover up the real base of child molestation
Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül.
Friday, 23 February 2018 00:26

A commission of six ministries held its first meeting on Feb. 22 as part of a three-day workshop aimed at discussing "measures" against child molesters.

The meeting comes after Turkey's AKP government said on Tuesday it would consider introducing chemical castration for child abusers after several cases of sexual assault on children sparked public outcry.

Chemical castration, which involves using drugs to reduce libido, does not prevent a person from experiencing sexual urges indefinitely. Turkey introduced a measure to chemically castrate those convicted of sex crimes in 2016, but the country's highest administrative court, the Council of State, stopped its implementation last August, saying its definition and limit were "vague".

Turkish President Erdoğan said on February 20 that his ministerial cabinet dwelled on the issue of child abuses, saying the harshest sanctions and punishments would be imposed, adding that child abuse would lead the society to collapse.

However, the rate of sexual crimes, sexual assaults, harassments and child sexual abuses has extremely increased during the rule of Erdoğan’s AKP since the year of 2002. The rate of child abuse in Turkey increased by 700 percent in the last ten years in Turkey, according to a report on child abuse prepared by Prevention of Violence and Rehabilitation Organization.

After many examples showing that sexual assaults and rapes colossally increased during the Islamist AKP rule with its religious regulations and impositions leading to a social erosion, Erdoğan seems to cover his government’s role.

The Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) reacted to Erdoğan's statements regarding the AKP government's planned regulations that would cover up the real base of child molestation. The Communist Party of Turkey said "We remind once again: Child abuses and molestations cannot be prevented without unveiling their relation to the ever increasing reactionism in the last fifteen years. This rule that constantly attacks the women and children cannot prevent molestations. Reactionism cannot create social value!"


Chemical castration, a practice currently excluded in Turkish law, would be implemented only after the judicial process is completely finalized, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ told state-run Anadolu Agency.

"First the trial will take place. The punishment will only be given when the crime has been absolutely determined. The execution of the verdict will take place after the court has made a final decision [including after any appeals process]," Bozdağ said.

"The commission will prepare suggestions for preventive and protective measures and we will move forward from there," he added, noting that legislative or administrative regulations could be made afterwards.

"We wish to enact the measure of reducing and suppressing sexual drive with chemicals during the punishment execution period, after a court decision, within a few days," Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül said.

Ahmet Gökçen, a professor of law focusing on criminal procedure at Marmara University’s Law School, suggested that chemical castration could be used for conditional releases.

"[A convict sentenced over sexual abuse] could be released on the condition that he or she is willing to undergo a medical procedure," Gökçen said.