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Thousands Protest In Istanbul Over Controversial Child Sex-Assault Bill


Thousands of people have protested in Istanbul against a controversial bill that would overturn men's convictions for child sex assault if they marry their victims.

AFP reports that at least 3,000 people took part in the demonstration on the city's Asian side on November 19.

The protesters held banners such as "AKP Take Your Hands Off My Body," a reference to the ruling party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which introduced the bill.

The measures, which were approved in an initial parliamentary reading on December 17, will be voted on again in a second debate in the coming days.

If passed, the law would allow the release from prison of men guilty of assaulting a minor if the act was committed without "force, threat, or any other restriction on consent" and if the aggressor "marries the victim."

The legal age of consent in Turkey is 18.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters
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