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Family of Turkish child bride face prison for arranging marriage

Jan. 24, 2014 at 1:54 PM   |   Comments

SIIRT, Turkey, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Turkish authorities say they are investigating the marriage of a 14-year-old who died in an apparent suicide after the death of her second child.

Kader Ertem, who lived in Siirt province in southeastern Turkey, died from a wound from a hunting rifle Jan. 11, the Anadolu news agency reported. Her second child, born in September, had died a few days earlier.

The government has filed a complaint against her husband, Mehmet Atak, his family and Ertem's family, charging them with "deprivation of liberty" and sexually harassing a child. They could face 18 years in prison if they are convicted.

Authorities are investigating how the couple were married in a religious ceremony and why the head of the village did not report the wedding, given Ertem's age.

Atak's family says his wife was depressed by the death of her child. Her father, however, said he is suspicious of the finding of suicide since hunting rifles are not often used for that purpose.

Atak, who was doing his military service at the time of his wife's death, has said he believes it was accidental.

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