Erdoğan’s radical Islamist ally Erbakan deems 14-year-old children suitable for marriage

Recent attention has been drawn to the statements made by New Welfare Party’s (YRP) leader Fatih Erbakan in 2020, in which he claimed that 14-year-old children would have reached a state of “sexual maturity” and they would be capable of establishing “happy households.”

Erbakan (R) advocates for child abuse in a YouTube program he attended in 2020.

Duvar English

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ally, radical Islamist New Welfare Party’s (YRP) leader Fatih Erbakan in 2020 stated that 14-year-old children can get “married” because they reached “sexual maturity.” His statements caused a great reaction on social media and among opposition politicians when it was resurfaced on Twitter. 

Speaking on a Youtube program he participated in at the time, Erbakan said, "For years in Anatolia, our ancestors have married at the age of 14, 15, 16 and established happy homes. Since a 14-year-old has reached sexual maturity, her consent is valid. This is how it has been done in Anatolia for centuries."

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP Gökçe Gökçen reacted to Erbakan's statements and stated that his ideology is “the real threat to children.” She added, “Those who are endlessly searching for ways to have sexual relations with children have been placed on the parliament by Erdoğan. We have to raise the struggle against this terrible threat and weave a social democratic politics.”

The YRP became one of the partners of the People’s Alliance before the elections and placed five MPs in the parliament including Erbakan. He previously asserted that the COVID-19 vaccines would cause giving birth to half monkey half human babies and that teaching evolution theory would make students to be terrorists.