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New focus on child brides in Turkey

Turkey needs to take more aggressive action to reduce its number of child brides.

A majority of analysts predict a tough and tense immediate future for Turkey in 2014. In such an environment, it might seem necessary to momentarily put aside seemingly less pressing matters. Yet, watching the Turkish film “My Aunt Came”  (“Halam Geldi” in Turkish, directed by Erhan Kozan), released on Jan. 3, served as a sober reminder that there can never be a bad time to continue raising awareness about child brides — one of Turkey’s deepest bleeding wounds.

Child marriage is defined as a formal marriage or informal union before age 18, and the impacts, primarily for girls, are disastrous. The main reasons for child brides are poverty, lack of education, religious belief, perceptions of gender roles in society, insufficient laws or belief that a girl is safer once married. 

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