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.