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ANKARA — Turkey’s parliament marked International Women’s Day on Thursday by approving a package of laws aimed at better protecting women and children from abuse.

As it vies for European Union membership, Turkey - a predominantly Muslim country - is struggling to discard long-held cultural practices that denigrate women in a largely patriarchal society.

It also is fighting to curb “honor killings” and murders of women deemed to have tarnished the reputation of their relatives, sometimes by having a premarital affair or a child out of wedlock.

From wire dispatches and staff reports