Referring to a report from the Interior Ministry about children with foreign citizenship who reported sexual assault, the Vice Chair of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Gamze İlgezdi said that the number of children with foreign citizenship who have been victims of sexual assault has reached a record level.
According to a Cumhuriyet report, Ilgezdi drew attention to the fact that children are the most affected among those who had to leave their countries due to reasons like war, fighting and negative conditions. Saying that foreign children are subject to many kinds of exploitation, including becoming second wives, marrying at an young age, selling drugs, begging and becoming maids, İlgezdi claimed that the numbers in the report are only the tip of the iceberg. “It’s impossible to access figures about the actual number of foreign children who came to Turkey ‘unaccompanied’ or what happened to them. These numbers are not shared with us. But this data is known by human traffickers. Because the phenomenon of migration, anxiety about one’s future, and the desire to live in a better location push migrants directly into the arms of criminal organizations.”
The report included the following findings: In Turkey overall, sexual assault incidents directed at children between 2014-2017 increased by 67 percent. The number of foreign children who were victims of sexual assault, which was 170 in 2014, saw an increase of 736 percent in 2017, rising to 1,421. The total number of children who were victims of sexual violence increased by 43 in 2017 as compared to 2016.
Hatay tops the list
The Interior Ministry report shows that between 2014-2017, Hatay was recorded as the city where foreign girls were sexually assaulted the most. In Hatay, 403 foreign girls were brought to security units because they were sexually assaulted. Hatay was followed by Mersin with 214 cases, Gaziantep with 205 cases, İstanbul with 204 cases, Bursa with 195 cases, Kilis with 151 cases, İzmir with 143 cases, Konya with 133 cases, Adana with 122 cases, and Şanlıurfa with 116 cases.
According to data, among foreign children who were sexually exploited in Turkey, 90 percent were girls. The number of female victims rose to 1,300 in 2017 from 143 in 2014, an increase of 809 percent. The total number of girls who were victims of sexual violence between 2014-2017 was recorded as 2,792. In the same period the number of boys who were victims of sexual assault also increased by 348 percent.