Meriç Eyüboğlu: Discourse of ‘Child bride’ legitimizes sexual abuse

ISTANBUL – Feminist Lawyer Oya Meriç Eyüboğlu, who pointed out that the concept of ‘child bride’, which is used to draw attention to child marriages, should not be used, she said ‘’It is important to remember that children are forced to marriage, child abuse, and that children at that age cannot marry on their own accord, in fact, not about marriage but about rape. From child, neither groom nor bride happens.’’

Child abuse is one of the greatest wounds of society, where childhood marriages are most systematically experienced with cultural and traditional patriarchal patterns. In the media, the term ‘child bride’ is often used to draw attention to children’s marriages. However, this concept, which often appears to be ‘’opposed’’ and turns into a campaign, serves to legitimize in reverse. Feminist lawyer Oya Meriç Eyüboğlu, who applied to her views on the subject, said that the concept of ‘’child bride’’, which is used and frequently used, is a concept that legitimizes marriages in childhood. She said that, from child, neither groom nor bride happens.’’

‘It is cute to be bride on these lands’

Meriç said that the concept of ‘’bride’’ has been very meaningful for a long time in Turkey. Meriç explained that there are serious meanings under the dressing bridal gown of the children in the events such as weddings. Meriç, ‘’from very young ages we are wearing dresses for girls. Getting married, being a mother, wearing a wedding dress is something that is very encouraging. The books are subject to cartoons. A lot of girls say to you what you want to be at certain ages and they say ‘I want to be a bride’. So it is cute to be bride on these lands. It is a legitimate thing that is extremely social support.’’

‘Everyone has to make a voice against child marriages’

‘’This concept is so widespread in these lands that according to security’s missions, 300 thousand people are married every year, and 100 of them are made up of children and the age limit has fallen to twelve.’’ Meriç says that the concept of ‘’bride’’ is reinforced by the popular sympathy of the people. Meriç said, ‘’It is wrong to talk about a concept that is sympathetic to children’s brides, not to use it’’, who assessed the increase in marriages in childhood as ‘’terrible’’. ‘’In such a terrible number, everybody has to do something so urgently that he has to go out and rebel.’’

‘Child bride concept should not use!’

Meriç reminded of the ‘’Sexual abuse’’ law, which is planned to be passed in November 2016, said: ‘’There was a proposal and a law amendment to be brought about Article 103 of the Turkish Criminal Code. We women were poured into the streets and these changes were not made, they had to withdraw. It was a proposal that brought amnesty to marriages at a young age. It was a proposal brought and supported by the AKP. At that time again the concept of child bride did not pass.

Childhood was the concept of forced marriage. We should not use the concept of child bride and we should prevent it from becoming widespread.’’

‘Child marriages are abuse’

Meriç says, ‘’It is important to remember that child marriage in childhood is child abuse, and that children in that age cannot marry on their own terms, in fact, not about marriage but about rape.’’ She said that the AKP has given the proposal that these people who are sourced from widespread marriage in childhood in Turkey should gain ‘society’.

Reminding the activity report prepared by the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, Meriç stated that nothing was targeted and promised. Reminding the activity report prepared by the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, Meriç stated that nothing was targeted and promised. Meriç said, ‘’The only thing that the Ministry could present as an activity in the report was the religious ceremony in all the mosques in Turkey for the martyrs of Çanakkale. So it is not possible to expect anything from the existing government and ministry’’. She said, every individual, who live in Turkey, was on duty.