Turkish EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bağış has criticized a German court ruling stating that circumcising young boys constitutes assault.
Speaking to the press at a meeting titled “Communication with Turkey: Turkey's image and EU Membership” at Germany's Economy and Technology Ministry office in Berlin, Bağış said it is a completely ignorant act to say circumcision is a crime against one's health.
A German court recently ruled that circumcising young boys on religious grounds amounts to bodily harm even if the boy's parents consent to the procedure. The case in question involved a doctor accused of carrying out a circumcision on a 4-year-old that resulted in medical complications. However, the doctor was acquitted and prosecutors said they won't appeal.
Bağış said the court's decision was not acceptable and that circumcision is a religious issue that should not even be discussed in courts. “This is an issue of religious freedom. If German judges require any information on this topic, we are ready to provide them with help on this topic,” he added.
The president of Germany's Central Council of Jews, Dieter Graumann, called the ruling “unprecedented and insensitive,” urging the country's parliament to clarify the legal situation “to protect religious freedom against attacks.”
Muslims also practices circumcision of young boys, and some parents request circumcision for health rather than religious reasons. The state court's ruling has created a tricky legal situation for doctors who perform the procedure on parents' orders.