Erdogan says opposition exploits the child bride case
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused the opposition of exploiting the child bride case that has shaken Turkey for over a week, after deputies and senior officials of the main opposition CHP (Republican People’s Party) marched to the headquarters of the ministry of justice to protest the inactive stance of the government.
Erdogan said it was impossible to accept marriage at the age of 14, or any sort of abuse, especially at a younger age, but the opposition ignored the work done by the government.
The child bride Erdogan mentioned has stirred up Turkey since her story appeared in Birgun newspaper, telling years of rape and abuse after she was married off by her cult leader father to a 29-year-old preacher from the same cult living next door to her family.
"I would like to share with you that we talked about the pain of our young girl,” Erdogan said after the cabinet meeting insisting that the ministers have done what was necessary since the beginning of the investigation.
“After the investigation carried out by our interior ministry, the matter was referred to the judiciary. Then our Ministry of Family and Social Services provided a lawyer for the victim and closely followed the legal process,” he said.
But father Yusuf Ziya Gumusel, leader of influential Ismailaga cult and Kadir Istekli are currently on the loose as judges twice rejected the arrest warrant requests by the prosecutors and decided that a judicial control for the defendants was enough before the first hearing of their trial which will be held in May 2023.
H.K.G, who is now 24, said at the time she only thought this was a game and said she was cautioned by his “husband” not to tell anyone.
After years of abuse, at the age of 14, a doctor noticed she was violated during a medical examination and prevented the police in 2012 which resulted with an investigation. But when the court requested that her bone age to be determined, the cult members stepped in and tricked a hospital by testing another woman who was 21 years old, thus getting a report saying she could be married legally.
A female doctor she met later told her that what she experienced as a child was rape and abuse. And a woman she met on social media suggested she could sue Istekli.