TURKEY: Child bride chooses suicide over marriage to 54-year-old

In that so-called “moderate” Muslim country of Turkey, forced child marriage is a persistent problem because it is condoned by Islamic law.

The attempted suicide by a girl who is 54 years younger than her husband lights up once again the long-running controversy surrounding early marriages in Turkey.

Women’s and children’s groups have frequently decried the practice of child brides who ostensibly have their families’ blessings to marry before 18 but often face pressures to marry for an exit from familial financial problems. Similar suspicions immediately followed the news that 17-year-old N.T., who married 71-year-old Halis Toprak in July 2009, took an overdose of sleeping bills, blaming “internal family problems.”

“This is a marriage for economic reasons, which is the general norm in many child marriages,” said Selen Doğan, general coordinator of Uçan Süpürge, or Flying Broom, a women’s research organization that has been leading projects to stop child marriages for several years.

The child marriage rate in Turkey is 37 percent on average, yet this figure increases to 68 percent in Southeast Anatolia, according to the association’s data. HURRIYET DAILY NEWS via TROP


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