Minister GÜL: Our greatest wealth is our children 21.02.2018
Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gül emphasized that children are the greatest wealth of a society and noted that the intervention of the justice system against the threats posed at the intersection of the concept of child and concept of crime is inevitable.

Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gül, who spoke at the "Workshop on Cooperation in Prevention of Crime" held in Ankara Hakimevi  by the Ministry of Justice Directorate General for Prisons and Detention Houses and Başkent University, explained that the issues concerning juveniles pushed to crime, the crimes committed against children, the fight against drugs and substance addiction as well as the prevention of repetition of offences will be discussed in the workshop which will last for three days. Minister Gül pointed out that the fact of juveniles pushed to crime is related to environmental factors, and that protecting the children against any kind of abuse is a basic expectation of the society and the Government's  unchanging priority.

SIGNIFICANT INCREASES ARE MADE IN PUNISHMENTS FOR SEXUAL OFFENCES

Reminding that many amendments were made in so many laws in order to protect children both who were pushed to crime and victims of crime, Gül noted that institutional measures were taken in this regard. Gül reminded that, after the sexual abuse against a child of 4,5 years old in Adana, the issue was handled in the Council of Ministers under the presidency of the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and a commission comprised of six ministers was established.

Gül stated that; beside increasing the punishment of crime in a manner to satisfy the social conscience, the execution process and measures to be taken in the future are also among the topics of the workshop. He emphasized that significant increases were made in the punishments related to sexual crimes in 2014 and 2016.

THERE ARE 16 THOUSAND DETAINEES AND CONVICTED PERSONS BECAUSE OF SEXUAL ABUSE

Informing on the crimes committed by detainees and convicted persons in prisons, Minister of Justice Gül, said:

"Recently, about one in four of our prisons is filled with people who committed narcotic crimes. In other words, one of four of the persons in prisons is detained and convicted for narcotic offences. The number of people in prisons because of narcotic offence is 50 thousand. 30 thousand people are in prisons for committing larceny offence. About one of three persons are in prisons due to narcotic and larceny offences. It is more than the ratio of terror offences. 16 thousand people are detained and convicted in prisons because of sexual abuse offence. "

Gül emphasized that deterrent and effective methods for preventing crime will continue to be developed and he said that fight against crime will be effectively carried out when the paths leading to committing crime are removed.

LOWER LIMIT HAS BECOME 16 YEARS

Noting that the judiciary gives the heaviest punishments in sexual abuse, narcotic and other crimes, Minister of Justice Gül said:

"In the Turkish Criminal Code, while the upper limit of the basic punishment of qualified sexual abuse in its first form enacted in 2004 was 15 years, today the lower limit has become 16 years. Moreover, when the victim is younger than 12 years old, the lower limit of the punishment increases to 18 years. While the lower limit of the punishment for sexual abuse at attempt level was 3 years, this period has been increased to 8 years, and its upper limit has been increased from 8 years to 15 years. According to the age of the victim, these punishments are increasing gradually in the acts of attempt and molestation."

Minister of Justice Gül pointed out that a society which conforms to all these rules not only for the fear of sanctions but also for respect to human, fairness and conscience is of great importance in the goal of preventing crime.

Gül said that they continue to work to strengthen the legal infrastructure in line with the needs of the society and noted that the Ministry of Justice follows and implements the developments and practices in contemporary societies in terms of prevention of crime and providing deterrence.

Stating that the practices in the world regarding the development of executive system have been closely followed, Gül emphasized that the prevention of crime would be possible with the support of the fields such as family, education, culture, economy and psychology beside the legal instruments.

Gül added that the Department of Victim Rights established under the structure of the Ministry also carries out studies on the protection of the victims.

Judiciary of Turkey