No reduced sentences for child abusers in Turkey - minister

The Turkish government is working to reduce prison sentences for people with a previous good record convicted of gender-based violence and child abuse, British news site BBC Turkish quoted Minister of Family and Social Policy Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya as saying.

The public has in the past reacted angrily to reduced sentences handed down by the courts in some cases involving violence against women and child abuse due to the defendants’ lack of a criminal record or demeanour in court.

“We have worked on the good conduct time issue. We have come to the end of our work with the Justice Ministry. Good conduct time will never be possible for such cases as child abuse,” Kaya told reporters.

Kaya also said the criminal records of people who worked in occupations related to children would be checked, the newspaper said.

“Think about it. Is it possible for a teacher who has a sexual abuse record to continue their job?” Kaya asked.

According to data taken from the We Will Stop Femicide Platform, in 2017, 409 femicides took place in Turkey, while 387 children and 332 women were exposed to sexual abuse, the news website said.

In 2016, 328 women were murdered, while this number was 303 in 2015.