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Turkish group sounds alarm over child brides Hundreds of marriages involved girls under 15

ISTANBUL, Jan 16, (AFP): A women’s rights group sounded the alarm on Wednesday about the prevalence of child brides in mostly Kurdish areas of eastern Turkey, saying hundreds of marriages involved girls under 15. The report by the Women’s Centre (KAMER) was published just days after the apparent suicide of a 14- year-old mother of two hit the headlines in Turkey, highlighting the plight of young brides. A survey by the group found that 2,200 of 60,000 women and girls were married between the ages of 13 and 15 over the last decade, while 4,700 were 16 or 17.

The poll, carried out in 23 provinces in mainly Kurdish areas of southeastern and eastern Turkey, found that 54 were married at the age of 12. “We are fiercely opposed to child marriages... does anyone take into account their psychological state?” said Esra Gurcan, a local director of KAMER. She highlighted the case of Kader Erten, who married at just 12 and who died of gunshot wounds in unclear circumstances on Sunday at the age of 14 after the death of her second child.

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