The Turkish government is seriously considering a law that would allow chemical castration of sex offenders involving minors, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said yesterday.
His statement came a day after the body of Eylül Yağlıkara, an eight-year-old girl, was found buried. She went missing on June 22.
Police have already arrested one suspect, one of the victim's neighbors, on charges of sexual assault and murder.
Bozdağ said the murderer cannot be described as a human and added that the government was weighing up actions to prevent such crimes but the process was interrupted by the early elections. He said the new Parliament would soon pass a law.
The government last April submitted a draft law that would allow tougher sentences for sexual assault and violence against women and children - including chemical castration, life sentences and increased prison terms.
Amid a public outcry over the recent cases of sexual abuse against children, the government has pledged to step up measures to prevent similar crimes.
According to the draft law, the upper limit of sentences for all sexual abuse crimes against children ranges from 20 years to 40 years. In addition, punishments for sexual crimes will be increased from 30 years to 40 years if the child is under the age of 12.
It also proposes that the courts hand out life sentences to sex offenders involving children under the age of 12 through force or the use of weapons. Such criminals, sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment, would only qualify for probation after serving 50 years in prison.
Similarly, those who commit such crimes and get life imprisonment would be up for probation after 40 years in prison. In both cases, the convicts would need to demonstrate good behavior during their time in prison. In any case, convicts would never be allowed to work near children.
Nationalist BBP calls for reinstating death penalty
The Great Union Party (BBP) will submit a proposal to Parliament to reinstate the death penalty for terrorists and child abusers, party Chairman Mustafa Destici said.
In a statement released on Sunday, the BBP said that it discussed the issue at the party's Central Decision Board (MKYK) in Ankara.
Destici drew attention to the case of Eylül Yağlıkara, the 8-year-old girl, whose body was found buried last Saturday.
He said Turkey should re-evaluate the punishments in such cases.
"Neither chemical castration nor imprisonment, the death penalty should be the only punishment," Destici said.
Yağlıkara went missing in Polatlı, Ankara on June 22. Local people and gendarmerie forces launched an extensive search operation after her disappearance. After a week-long effort, police found her dead body buried under an electric pole.
The case has fueled discussions about reinstating the death penalty in Turkey, with many renowned figures backing the idea after the Yağlıkara case.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli recently called for bringing back the death penalty on his Twitter page.
Earlier Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said that chemical castration was on the cards for sex offenders involving minors. The process gradually eliminates or reduces one's libido and sexual impulses.
Along with chemical castration, heftier sentences for child abusers are also being considered. The death penalty in Turkey was officially abolished in 2004 and the last execution was carried out way before in October 1984.