Women’s rights activist and lawyer Canan Arin was unlawfully detained on 23 June 2012 for speaking out against child marriages in Turkey. While her trial continues, she is living under permanent threat, but refuses to be silent. Open Democracy spoke to her.
Source: Association of Women in Development (AWID)
As an active lawyer and trainer you were invited to Antalya Bar Association to speak about violence against women. After your talk you were detained. What happened?
Canan Arin : I was the co-founder of the Istanbul Bar Association, Women’s Rights Enforcement Centre and worked as a trainer there. The Antalya Bar Association was opening a Women’s Rights Enforcement Centre and the lawyers needed training. I gave a talk on violence against women in the form of early and forced marriages in the context of training.
I used two examples to illustrate my point. One was the Prophet who married a girl of seven. The second was the head of the Turkish Republic who was engaged to his wife, the first lady, when she was 14 and married her when she was 15. These are facts. As I spoke, a group of young men got up and started shouting at me. They said I was insulting and going off the subject. I denied this and said they were free to leave the conference room, which they did.