Turkey 'may drop adultery ban'
From Alphonso Van Marsh
ISTANBUL, Turkey (CNN) -- A senior member of Turkey's ruling party has said a proposed draft law to criminalize adultery has in essence been abandoned.
"Will there be a proposal (to criminalize adultery)? It is very likely that no proposal will be made from (party) members," the party official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Tuesday.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) -- a group with Islamist roots -- had been expected to submit the controversial amendment on infidelity as part of a reform package for Turkey's penal code.
The reforms are largely intended to help Turkey pursue membership in the European Union -- coveted goal for the secular, democratic and overwhelmingly Muslim nation.
However, many people say criminalizing adultery would be a setback.
Turkey's parliament started debate on the reform package Tuesday amid protests by those who said the draft law would be unfairly applied against women.
The package of law includes tougher punishment for crimes such as rape and torture.
The European Commission is due to publish a long-awaited progress report on Turkey on October 6, according to Reuters. This report will form the basis of a decision by EU leaders at a December summit on whether to launch the accession negotiations.