In Turkey, the trial of the alleged forced marriage of a six-year-old began almost 20 years ago. The kick-off took place on Monday in Istanbul with great media attention.
The parents and ex-husband of today’s adults are accused. All three are accused of child abuse, the ex-husband is also accused of sexual assault, as the daily newspaper “Hürriyet” reported, citing the indictment. At the end of 2020, the alleged victim had filed a lawsuit.
The public prosecutor’s office accuses the father – founder of the influential Islamic Hiranur Foundation – of having married his daughter to a 29-year-old man in an Islamic ceremony in 2004. The two were also married in a civil ceremony after the plaintiff had reached the age of majority.
According to “Hürriyet”, the ex-husband faces more than 67 years in prison and the parents more than 22 years. The accused are in custody.
A journalist from the opposition newspaper “Birgün” made the case public, which led to great outrage in Turkey. He also fueled the discussion about the influence of Islamic orders in Turkey.
According to the newspaper “Birgün”, a doctor became aware of the alleged abuse in 2012 and informed the authorities. However, there was no criminal prosecution. The public prosecutor’s office has now also filed a complaint against the authorities investigating at the time.