Girls as young as nine and boys as young as 12 can marry under Islamic law, Turkey’s highest religious body suggested, causing major backlash in the country.
Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs – or Diyanet – which manages the country’s religious institutions and education, posted an online glossary of Islamic terms that said anyone who had reached adolescence has the right to marry, according to The Independent.
The organization elsewhere defined the start of adolescence for girls as nine and for boys as 12.
Despite the Diyanet’s recent posting, Turkey legally requires individuals – male and female – to be 18 years of age to marry, and the same goes for 17 year-olds with a legal guardian or parent’s permission. In extraordinary circumstance, 16-year-olds are also allowed to marry with court approval, according to BBC.
After significant backlash, the problematic statement has been removed by the religious authority.
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