ISTANBUL: Official figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜIK) have revealed that 16,396 girls aged between 15 and 17 gave birth across Turkey in 2016, as well as 234 girls younger than 15.
News of the figures follows public outrage over media reports last week revealing that a single Istanbul hospital had covered up over 100 underage pregnancies in just six months.
The data, spanning over 16 years and based on figures provided by the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs, also shows that 2,730 girls younger than 15 years old and 50,848 girls aged between 15 and 17 gave birth in 2001.
Last week, the Health Ministry and the Family Ministry launched separate investigations following a report in Hürriyet that the Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Training and Research Hospital in Istanbul’s Küçükçekmece district treated 115 pregnant underage girls between Jan. 1 and May 9 last year without notifying the authorities.
The incident only came to light after a hospital social worker and psychologist notified the Küçükçekmece Prosecutor’s Office.__Hurriyet