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Several governments and women's rights groups say forced and arranged marriages are a growing problem in European countries. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul the Turkish city recently hosted one of a series meetings that brings together non-governmental organizations and local governments to examine the issue of people being forced to marry against their will.

A women from southeast Turkey told representatives of leading non-governmental organizations and local governments meeting last week in Istanbul about her forced marriage.

"I got married when I was 27, it was arranged marriage. I only met husband once before we wed, but I had no choice. It was decided by my family and his that this was the man I have to spend the rest of my life, this is how it is for women, marriage is not a question of choice," she said.

With the backing of the European Union, the Hamburg, Germany, city council initiated a series of meetings across Europe to discuss forced marriages. Dr. Matthias Bartke of Hamburg says hearing about the experiences of women involved and about Turkish women's rights groups efforts to end forced marriages was an invaluable experience.


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