Turkey’s Ministry of Justice has announced that criminal cases launched over the sexual abuse of children increased by 33 percent in 2022 compared to the previous year, the Birgün daily reported on Friday.
Child abuse saw the second sharpest increase of all crimes during the year. Cases involving alleged fraud went up 41 percent last year.
The ministry has been criticized for a lack of transparency in child abuse cases since they have failed to publish any data since 2019.
Moreover, human rights advocates have criticized the Turkish government for not taking steps against child abuse.
In September two lawmakers from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) submitted a parliamentary question addressing the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Family Affairs about the increasing number of cases of child sexual abuse. They asked if the ministries were working on policies to prevent the abuse.
Turkey ratified the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, also known as the Lanzarote Convention, in 2011. According to the convention Turkey is not only responsible for prosecuting child abusers but also for preventing child abuse.
Most recently, journalist Sinan Aygül was detained on charges of “inciting hatred and hostility” after reporting on a child abuse incident in Turkey’s eastern province of Bitlis.