Turkey's Constitutional Court stirs outrage by annulling child sex abuse clause

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The Constitutional Court has ruled to annul a provision that punishes all sexual acts against children under the age of 15 as "sexual abuse," stirring outrage from academics and women's rights activists who warn that the decision will lead to cases of child abuse going unpunished. The Constitutional Court discussed the issue upon an application from a district court, which complained that the current law does not discriminate between age groups in cases of child sexual abuse and treats a 14-year-old as equal to a four-year-old. The local court said the law does not provide legal consequences for the "consent" of victims in cases where the child victim is from 12 to 15 years of age and able to understand the meaning of the sexual act. "This creates an imbalance between legal benefits and sanctions that should be preserved in crime and punishment," the application stated. With seven votes against six, the Constitutional Court agreed with the local court and decided to annul the provision. The decision will come into effect on Jan. 13, 2017.

source: Article 'Turkey's Constitutional Court stirs outrage by annulling child sex abuse clause'; www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-constitutional-court-stirs-outrage-by-annulling-child-sex-abuse-clause.aspx?PageID=238&NID=101607&NewsCatID=509; Daily News; 14 July 2016