The Turkish Constitutional court has lowered the age of consent to 12-years-old, prompting a dispute between Turkey and Austria after news of the decision was shown on tickers at Vienna’s international airport.
This summer, the Turkish Hurriyet reported:
“The Constitutional Court has ruled to annul a provision that punishes all sexual acts against children under the age of 15 as “sexual abuse,” stirring outrage from academics and women’s rights activists who warn that the decision will lead to cases of child abuse going unpunished.
The Constitutional Court discussed the issue upon an application from a district court, which complained that the current law does not discriminate between age groups in cases of child sexual abuse and treats a 14-year-old as equal to a four-year-old.
The local court said the law does not provide legal consequences for the “consent” of victims in cases where the child victim is from 12 to 15 years of age and able to understand the meaning of the sexual act. “This creates an imbalance between legal benefits and sanctions that should be preserved in crime and punishment,” the application stated.”
A Turkish diplomat called the headline in Vienna’s international airport 'false'.
“This headline tarnishes the image of Turkey, and is false,” he said. “Our disturbance and reaction over this display which tarnishes Turkey’s image and deliberately misinforms the public have been strongly conveyed to the charge d’affaires.”
The new laws will come into effect on Jan. 13, 2017.