Turkish marriage law a blow to women's rights, say activists

Bill allowing Muslim clerics to conduct civil marriages passed despite protests amid fears it could lead to more child brides

Activists and opposition politicians in Turkey have rounded on a law that allows Muslim clerics to conduct civil marriages, describing it as a blow to women’s rights and secularism and part of an ongoing effort to impose religious values on a polarised society.

The law allowing “mufti” marriages was passed by parliament and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan then published in the country’s official gazette on Friday, despite protests by civil society activists and opposition lawmakers. Last month Erdoğan declared that the bill would be passed “whether you like it or not”.

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