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Stolen Brides

Lately, i have noticed that the number of girls who run away from home is increasing in Turkey. Each Turkish channel broadcasts daily talk shows where families of the missing victims come and tell their stories as they shed tears in desperation.  Each show has tight connection with the nearest police station that is ready to take action when a witness calls or any information comes forward. It’s amazing how fast some of them work and finds the missing children and the families are reunited.

Numbers show that in January 2010, a number of 1661 young boys and girls were missing, majority being girls. The numbers are probably higher now but the concerning part is that the age of the girls are lower and lower.

Girls as young as 12-13 years are running away from home to be with the boy they “love” and get married. When asked why they ran away instead of speaking with their parents, they answer that they love each other and was scared that the parents would deny her from speaking with the boy. Not surprising considering the young age.

  • 60% is between 16-18 years old
  • 30% is between 13-15 years old
  • 10% is 12 and younger

Some does also run away from domestic violence and family problems, boys usually “kidnap” the girls they love or they run away in search for a better life and a well paid job.

While the legal age for marriage is 18 years old, and if the girl is younger, the boy that has kidnapped her will be sentenced to jail, even if she willingly ran away with him. Unless the family of the girl withdraws the police report, the boy will escape a jail sentence.

What started to think about was that in Afghanistan, girls in young age are forced to marriage against their will while in Turkey girls in young age run away to get married and they are ready to sacrifice everything.

It’s a big mistake in my opinion thinking about the future of these children. How can a 13 year old girl understand what marriage is about? And how will they survive without education and work? Life is expensive in the world and I’m sure that the love will turn into hate after a while when the honeymoon time is over and real life hits them hard in the face.

Both countries have the same problem but in opposite direction causing a lot of head ache for the parents. To change this mentality and trend will be difficult and take a lot of time.

While the Afghan government has to figure out a way to stop girls from becoming child brides, Turkey has to work out with the parents to try to persuade the children to stay in school and wait until they reach the legal age of marriage.

Poverty, protection of girls, fear of loss of virginity before marriage and related family honour are suggested as significant factors in determining a girl’s risk of becoming married as a child and girls and women who are married in young age, are more likely to experience domestic violence and divorce as well. To avoid this, the government should promote education and make the girls aware of their rights and the importance of waiting with marriage until at least the legal age is reached. The important parts are the parents who must follow their children’s behavior and take action before it’s too late. The role of the parents, especially the mother is very important since the mother is always considered as the backbone of the family.

A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands, but a mother’s love endures through all. “Washington Irving”


Comments on: "Stolen Brides" (6)

  1. .Dear Hatef sabh hope you will be top of the world
    Its a very good article related with all the mother in the world…
    According to my dogma not in turkey but in the whole world the girls run away from home with her boyfriend when she has lost her virginity as well as dough, after few days, when her b.f. left her she did not have any other option except going to red light area. because she cant go back to home.

    you are right Mother are spinal bone of a family only she can easily understand the feelings of their children s……


    • Yes, this is very common where girls run away and then the relationship doesn’t turn out to be what they thought it would be. In some cases the girl is lucky and the family accepts her back but in majority the family does not accept her because they claim that she has destroyed the honor of the family. If she is not lucky enough to take care of herself, than yes, many girls do end up in the wrong crowd and they are misused because of their desperate situation. Thats why it is important that there is shelters for women and girls who can help and support them until they can stand on their own feet, rather than fall down the cliff. Best regards Hatef Mokhtar

  2. Well described article but the problem discussed here is common in most of the so called third world countries especially in Northern Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, ASEAN, UK, USA, Mexico, Central Asia & the reason is uncivilized minds in civilized society. Take for example girls are sold in a weekly open market in Egypt whereas Hyderabad (India) in a common auction hall very secretly organized by some agents. In Rajhastan (India) its a culture or can say ritual of childhood marriage. In Haryana, few villages in Rajhasthan & Gujrat (India) girls or even women are sold or forced to get married to all the boys of one single family due to the shortage of girl brides & the reason is Sex ratio in this state is very low as the girl child is not accepted & welcomed by parents & is aborted before her birth.

    Actually the problem does not lie with parents only but the society at large. & the world can only get rid of this situation until n unless we the people will not understand the value / social importance of women in life & the role they can play in the development of the society. We have to spread awareness & have to educate the parents as well as girls socially & religious with liberal think then only this menace can be solved & clear.

  3. UK & USA though developed but they face the ran away problem due the social indifference & generational gap & mostly the Expatriates face these kinds of situations as the parents can’t leave their culture & compromised with the new so called western society in which their kids have grown & born where they have followed & taught the values from their birth by the society in which they work & lived for years.

  4. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all. But think about if you added some great images or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this site could certainly be one of the very best in its field. Excellent blog!

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