Child abuse incidents have seriously risen in recent years under the ruling Justice and Development Party, while the Turkish government attempts to sweep violence against children under the rug.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is looking for a way to clear itself of blame after recent reports on the increased rate of child abuse in Turkey.
The AKP government proposed chemical castration to prevent child abuses, a method criticized as it would fail to stop child molestation. This fact was pointed out in a report soL News compiled detailing the AKP's record on child abuse:
- A parliamentary inquiry had previously highlighted that the 2016 report on child abuse prepared by the Prevention of Violence and Rehabilitation Organization had found that the number of child abuse incidents increased by seven hundredfold in the previous ten years throughout the country.
- Ministers and deputies of the AKP had protected the pro-government Ensar Foundation, where 45 children had been subjected to sexual abuse in 2016. The Ensar Foundation provides religious education, scholarships and accommodations to students across Turkey. The government had imposed a broadcast ban on news about this incident, while the Ensar Foundation continues to call for jihad with the goal of establishing of an Islamic state in textbooks that it hands out to children in religious imam hatip high schools in Turkey.
- Children suffered from sexual abuse in a dormitory affiliated to another religious cult called "the Süleymanists" under the protection of the AKP government in 2017. A dorm manager was arrested for sexually abusing two children in Turkey’s southeastern province of Adıyaman.
The Süleymanists, a Sunni-Hanafi cult whose reactionary political activities were tolerated by the state since the military coup of 1980, helped lay the foundation for the emergence of the reactionary AKP government. Like many religious cults and communities, the Süleymanists are also supported and used by the AKP government in order to consolidate its power among the society
- Hamdi Kavillioğlu, the AKP’s provincial mufti to the southern province of Hatay, had previously said that "girls can be married between 9-15 years old, and boys between 12-15." Kavillioğlu grounded his claims in Islam.
- The Court of Cassation returned an acquittal for a case regarding the sexual abuse of a 5-year child in 2017. It was revealed that the molester had strong ties with a political figure affiliated to the AKP government.
- The AKP rejected a parliamentary inquiry regarding the investigation and prevention of child abuse, while the opposition backed the motion.
- All news criticizing Islamic 'professor' Nureddin Yıldız, an advocate for the marriage of female children, is censored by the AKP government.
- Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) published a fatwa stating that girls who have reached puberty are allowed to marry and give birth according to Islam. The Diyanet stated that the minimum age of puberty is 9 in girls, and 12 in boys.
"Girls can become pregnant at the age of 9, and boys could become a father when they turn 12," the Diyanet had previously said.
- In 2016, AKP deputies had tried to introduce a law enacting that if a rapist married the girl he abused, the rape would not be considered a crime. The Turkish government had to withdraw the relevant draft law after severe controversy.
- 115 children under 18 years of age who were taken to the Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Training and Research Hospital in İstanbul within the same five-month period have become pregnant. The hospital administration tried to cover up the incident, as it dismissed the officer who reported the rampant sexual abuse to the prosecution office. The governorate did not grant permission for an investigation.
The officer, who revealed the sexual abuse in the hospital, said that 450-500 pregnant children are taken to the hospital every year.
-Mehmet Kara, the Head of AKP’s Youth Branch in the Kulp district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, was arrested in a lawsuit against 86 people, all charged with systematic sexual abuse of children.