Girls can marry aged 9 – Turkey’s religious authority

Turkey’s state religious authority says girls are able to spiritually marry and become pregnant from the age of nine, according to its website.

“It is necessary for a person at risk of entering illegitimate (sexual) relations to marry,” the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) said, adding that any young person who had reached the age of puberty could marry.

The minimum age was nine for girls and 12 for boys, since these were the ages at which they would be able to become parents, it said.

However, according to Turkish law, the minimum possible age of marriage is 16, and even then only with an exceptional legal decision. Ordinarily couples must wait until both parties are 17 with parental permission, or 18 without.

“A woman who has reached the age of puberty may be able to marry herself off without her guardian, but it is recommended that her guardian also be there,” according to Diyanet advice.

Marriage is necessary in order to prevent fornication according to religious rules and continue the human race, the Diyanet website said.


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