A total of 274 minors aged between 14 and 17 gave birth at the Kepez Public Hospital in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya, Turkish media reported on Monday.
According to data obtained from sources within the hospital, 115 of the minors were Turkish citizens while 159 were foreigners, mostly from Syria and Afghanistan.
Hospital officials said all deliveries involving minors are reported to the authorities.
Antalya Bar Association Chairwoman Serap Ertuğrul said, “The principle of protecting children dictates that all births by minors become subject to legal procedures regardless of citizenship,” she told BirGün, adding, “provided the births are not covered up.”
Last year Tekin Bingöl, a deputy from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), published a report regarding child marriage and pregnancy in Turkey. According to the report a total of 482,908 underage women had been married in the preceding 10 years.
“In Turkey, 26 percent of females were married before the age of 18. Ten percent of them gave birth before the age of 18. Some 142,298 underage mothers were recorded in the last six years. Most of these children were married in religious ceremonies. A total of 440,000 underage girls have given birth since 2002. The number of women under 15 who gave birth after being exposed to sexual abuse was recorded as 15,937,” Bingöl said in his report. (SCF with turkishminute.com)