Turkish child marriage religious document sparks anger – BBC News

Turkey’s main opposition party has called for a parliamentary inquiry after the directorate of religious affairs said that, under Islamic law, girls as young as nine could marry.

The comments by the Diyanet prompted an outpouring of anger on social media from Turkish women’s groups.

The directorate insisted it was only defining points of Islamic law.

Turkey’s legal age of marriage is 18 but the practice of underage weddings in religious ceremonies is widespread.

Turkish law also allows 17-year-olds to marry with the consent of their parents or guardian, or 16-year-olds in exceptional circumstances with court approval.

Pious versus secular in modern Turkey

The current outcry was started by a statement on adolescence posted online by the Diyanet, the state body which administers religious institutions and education.

It said that, according to Islamic law, the beginning of adolescence for boys was the age of 12 and for girls the age of nine. On the same website, it said that whoever reached the age of adolescence had the right to marry.

Thirty MPs of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) called on the government to launch an investigation into child marriage.

Read more here: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42558328

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