Report: 158 underage pregnant girls admitted to Turkish public hospital in İstanbul

A report prepared by an inspector at the Health Ministry indicates that the number of underage pregnant girls admitted to the Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Teaching and Research Hospital in İstanbul’s Küçükçekmece district in the first five months of 2017 was 158, not 115 as previously thought, according to a report by the Hürriyet Daily News on Tuesday.

According to the report Mustafa Kılınç, the ministry inspector, drafted an 84-page report after allegations surfaced that the hospital staff failed to report the cases of underage pregnancies and that the hospital treated 115 pregnant underage girls last year without notifying authorities.

Thirty-seven of those girls were younger than 15 years of age. Among the pregnant girls treated at the hospital was one girl aged 12, five girls aged 13, 11 girls aged 14, 20 girls aged 15, 71 girls aged 16 and 50 girls aged 17.

The report added that the hospital notified the authorities of 34 cases while the remaining 124 underage pregnancies went unreported.

The number of underage pregnant girls treated at the hospital was 1,260 and 64 of those girls were younger than 15 years of age, according to the report, which added that some of those girls were Syrians. “No matter their nationality, Turkish laws apply since the incidents took place on Turkish soil,” the report read.

Thirty-three doctors at the hospital were deemed to have been negligent because they failed to notify the hospital’s social services department about the pregnant girls. Criminal complaints have been filed for 11 doctors as well as the hospital’s then-chief physician and two social services specialists.

The incident at the Küçükçekmece hospital came to light when İclal Nergiz, a social worker and psychologist at the hospital, notified the Küçükçekmece Public Prosecutor’s Office. After the scandal became public, Nergiz was appointed to a post at another facility.

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