“First of all, every individual under the age of 18 is a ‘child’ according to international conventions. Seeking a child’s consent in cases of sexual abuse is out of the question,” the chair of the Association to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect, Professor Bahar Gökler, told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.
Gökler said this “calamitous” decision was in violation of child rights.
The general secretary of the same association, Professor Aysun Baransel, said consent could be sought in cases of sexual intercourse between peers, but it was impossible to speak of consent if the case involves a 60-year-old and a 15-year-old child.
“The most important point is that unless this provision is urgently addressed, child abusers will start walking around freely because there is no new regulation [to fill the void],” Baransel said.
She added that child sexual abusers will be tried with provisions related to the sexual abuse of adults following the ruling, as there will be no special law in place after Jan. 13.
The head of the Child Rights Center of the Ankara
Bar Association, Sabit Aktaş, also warned that many children will suffer from the decision.