The intent of this report is to declare the victims of the ‘New Turkey,’ especially women with children who have been under persecution since the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Although the Turkish government does not promote transparent data on the number of children imprisoned with their mothers, there are 864 children in the prison according to the Justice Department Prison and Penitentiaries Management. The ages of these children vary between newborns to 6 years, as of May 24, 2019.
One hundred and fifteen girls, including 39 from Syria, have been treated at a single hospital in Istanbul in less than five months. News website Hurriyet Daily reported 38 girls became pregnant before the age of 15, and 77 before turning 18. A hashtag, which translates as ‘You can’t cover up the abuse of 115 children’, has been used more than 47,000 times since Wednesday.
The story has also reignited wider debates about sexual abuse and women’s rights. Referring to previous assertions that women should not laugh in the street and should dress modestly, one user suggested the focus should shift away from women’s behaviour and onto their protection.