Legal First In Turkey In Marital Rape

The Supreme Court of Appeals in Turkey has accepted for the first time a verdict by a local court sentencing a person with the initial “H.A.” for raping his wife more than once. Although the amendment to the Turkish civil code making sexual harassment in marriage a crime was introduced in 2005, it has been implemented only in a limited way due to difficulty of changing peceptions in society. Hulya Gulbahar, a lawyer noted: “If a woman is forced to have sexual intercourse by anyone, including her husband, the offender will no longer be innocent by law. But, for the husband to be judged, the wife needs to file a complaint.” Gulbahar noted: “In most cases, women who are victims of sexual harassment by their husbands are forced to withdraw their complaints by their family or people around them. The same thing happened when Halil Orun, a Justice and Development Party(AKP) deputy, was accused of beating his wife. His wife filed a complaint, but the social pressure was so strong that she had to withdraw her complaint.”

The court sentenced H.A. to ten years for raping his wife more than once.