Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), which is responsible for administering religious institutions and education, has posted an online glossary of Islamic terms. The website said that, according to Islamic law, whoever had reached the age of adolescence had the right to marry.
The beginning of adolescence is defined as nine and 12 for girls and boys respectively.
As reported by The Independent, the glossary is no longer available online. However, 30 MPs from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) have called upon the government to launch a parliamentary inquiry into child marriages.
The legal age of marriage in Turkey is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In exceptional circumstances people can marry at 16, subject to court approval.
Child marriage in religious ceremonies is widespread in Turkey, taking place in clandestine ceremonies often conducted by a local elder and held at a family’s home.