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Turkey wants to criminalize adultery

Upon instructions from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Justice Ministry is working on new legislation outlawing adultery.
Turkish women from different cities join a demonstration against the adultery ban in Ankara, September 14, 2004. The Turkish parliament meets in an extraordinary session on Tuesday to push through a massive series of amendments to the country's penal code. Most of the 348 articles of the penal code are to be changed under the draft legislation tabled by the ruling Justice and Development Party, including the amendment that is making adultery a criminal offence. REUTERS/Umit Bektas  UB/GB - RP5DRIAIJWAA

The recent flood of news about instances of child abuse around Turkey has caused a backlash of anger among the public and politicians from different parties. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan instructed six ministers to work on more effective administrative and legal measures to address child abuse, including harsher penalties, such as the highly debated chemical castration for offenders. The commission held its first meeting Feb. 22.

Two days earlier, on Feb. 20, Erdogan affirmed the government’s determination to create harsher penalties for child abuse at a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Then he unexpectedly mentioned adultery, announcing, “By enacting legislation on adultery, all of those abuses would be treated within the same scope.” He also referred to his own government’s decriminalization of adultery back in 2004, when Turkey was actively and enthusiastically working on the accession process to the European Union.

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