Over 16,000 people convicted of child sex abuse last year in Turkey

Some 16,161 people were convicted of sexually abusing children in 2021 in Turkey, according to official data.

A demonstrator holds a banner reading 'Child sexual abuse is crime' in this file photo.

Duvar English

The Criminal Record Statistics of the Justice Ministry revealed that criminal courts in Turkey decided on a total of 29,822 cases of child sexual abuse in 2021, marking a 32.55 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Accordingly, the courts convicted 16,161 cases out of 29,822 decisions on child sexual abuse cases in 2021. The sentences included imprisonment, judicial fines and other convictions, daily BirGün reported.

At least 6,992 cases resulted in acquittal.

On the other hand, the Birth Statistics of the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) showed that a total of 7,190 children gave birth last year.

Children’s rights advocates have been calling for better sex abuse prevention for years. The Turkish government says it will work on prevention but has not specified how.

Experts say prevention involves increasing gender equality, educating children on their bodies and sexuality in age-appropriate ways, teaching about sexual abuse through awareness campaigns and training public officials. But under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), talking about sexual issues is still considered taboo.