in Traditional Turkish Families
Sünnet (a Turkish word used here in its sense of 'Ritual or Ceremonial Circumcision') -- marks the passage from childhood to manhood for the majority of young Turkish males.
While Modern Turkish couples (in the larger cities) have begun opting to have their sons
circumcised at birth by a doctor in a hospital setting, Traditional Turkish
parents still wait until their boys are 'ready to pass into manhood'.
Generally speaking, the sons of Traditionalists may be as young as age 6 and usually no older
than age 9 (with lots of exceptions to that particular circumcision-rule) -- before their parents
arrange and oversee the ceremonial circumcision.
The last circumcision ceremony I attended was for the son (Celal, aged 7 at the time) of our
friend Nevzat. By chance, my own son Jamie (who was visiting from London at the
time) attended with me. After Celal's circumcision operation was completed (in the privacy of
his bedroom by a licensed Sünnetçi practitioner), the celebrations began. Jamie and I stayed to pay our respects to a beaming Nevzat, pin some gold on Celal's shirt, chat with the other guests, and drink
Ceremonial Circumcisions in Turkey are planned and carried out with a great deal of fanfare.
On the morning of Celal's big day, for example, Nevzat arranged a slow car-parade (led by a
raucous Turkish band of drums and clarinets) for his son through their village (near Gümüldür). Later, after the circumcision had been performed, everyone retired to the celebration location
(a hotel restaurant) where food and drink were served -- while the 'New Man' (who was
propped up 'comfortably' on a pillowy seat-of-honor), looked on bewildered, as well-wishers took turns greeting him and leaving their gifts.
Part and parcel of the ceremony is the young man's ceremonial circumcision costume -- which comes in a variety of styles to fit the tastes (and the financial needs) of both paupers and kings.
Thanks to Hürriyet Gazetesi
In Turkey - Türkiye'de
Ads by HepsiBurada
From left to right above, we see the top-of-the-line "Sultan's Costume" (about USD$160),
the "Standard Costume" (about USD$110), and
the "Bargain-basement" Costume (about USD$40).
These stylish costumes aren't just for sünnet-bound Turkish boys, as it turns out. They've also attracted the attention of foreign tourists (and their youngsters) who like the festive outfits, regardless of their normally intended use.
For example, when French chanteuse Jane Birkin
(famous for her sexually explicit 1969 duet, "Je t'aime", with then-lover Serge Gainsbourg) performed at the Istanbul Jazz Festival, she purchased a circumcision costume from the Covered Bazaar for her 9 year-old grandson. Just because they both liked its fashion...
Posted by Ben | June 10, 2006
I'm praying that Turkish society hasn't succumbed to
the evil of "female circumcision." I know that it is not a practice
from Islam, but neighboring cultures can seduce.
Jim and Peri's Reply | June 11, 2006
You're correct in your thinking, Ben... female circumcision is considered barbaric in Turkey, just as in most other parts of the world. But we'll add your comment (and our reply), just so that other LPT site visitors know that too.