Women Groups Condemn Chemical Castration Of Sex Offenders In Turkey
“Chemical castration is a punishment that will merely assuage the victim’s immediate wish for revenge,” warned lawyer Canan Arın. “It will not address the underlying problems. Sexual abuse is not only committed because of a man’s genitals. Sexuality and male-female relationships in Turkey are not healthy.”
Referring to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s 2014 comments that men and women could not be equal because such a notion would “go against the laws of nature”, Arın asked: “If the government propagates such views, how are things supposed to change for the better?”
Both Kaptan and Arın underlined that Turkey’s existing laws were sufficient to deal with violence against women. In 2012, after the government enacted new legislation to prevent domestic violence, Turkey became the first country to ratify a Council of Europe treaty on violence against women, and the AKP government has promised to intensify its fight against rape and sexual assault.
But so far, little has changed. Women’s rights groups point out that legal measures have repeatedly fallen short, and that convicted sex offenders and those guilty of abuse and violence against women still benefit from courts reducing sentences for “good behaviour”, encouraging the public to see their offences as trivial. Arın also said that women who flagged up potential offenders to the police often did not receive the necessary protection.
“It would be enough if the police and the courts would do their jobs properly,” the lawyer said. “The existing legislation would be enough to deal with offenders, but these laws are often simply not being applied.”