Turkey set to legalize statutory rape and child marriage- thoughts?

A bill which would allow men accused of raping underage girls to be cleared if they marry the girl has been preliminarily backed by Turkish MPs. The government says the bill is aimed at pardoning men who did not realize they were engaging in underage sex. Critics say it legitimizes rape and child marriage, and lets off men who are aware of their crime. The bill was initially approved on Thursday evening after being brought to parliament by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

On Tuesday, MPs will debate the bill a second time before casting their final vote. If it passes, it will likely quash the convictions of some 3,000 men accused of sexually assaulting under-18s, as well as any men accused of raping under-18s from now on, if their act was committed without "force, threat, or any other restriction on consent"; and so long as the aggressor "marries the victim", their sentences will be indefinitely postponed.

Omer Suha Aldan, an MP with the opposition CHP, criticized the motion, saying it will "encourage forced marriages" and "legalize marriage to rapists". "If a 50 or 60-year-old is told to marry an 11-year-old after raping her, and then marries her years later, she will suffer the consequences. If you give him a pass by marriage, the young girl will live in a prison for her whole life," Aldan said.

But the government angrily hit back at the criticism, calling the opposition's claims a crude distortion of an attempt to grapple with the legal consequences of child marriage in the country. Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said it could help couples who have engaged in consensual sex and want to marry. "When a child is then born from this non-official union, the doctor warns the prosecutor and the man is sent to prison, putting the child and mother into financial difficulties," he said.

What are your thoughts on this? *And why won't it let me post this in Trending & News?
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Thanks for putting this in the right topic. So, does anyone else have any thoughts or opinions on this rule change?
Turkey set to legalize statutory rape and child marriage- thoughts?
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