Turkish official’s Ottoman-style circumcision triggers public outcry
Özcan’s son was dressed as an Ottoman prince and arrived in the mosque on horseback, before sitting down on a throne surrounded with imperial decorations.A deputy governor in the western Turkish province of Bursa recently organized an Ottoman-style circumcision ceremony for his son near the tomb of a sultan, drawing public criticism and prompting officials to announce his retirement on May 30.
Mehmet Özcan, deputy governor of Bursa, chose the Hüdavendigar Mosque in the Çekirge neighborhood, which houses the tomb of Ottoman Sultan Murad I, to celebrate his 6-year-old son’s circumcision, a ritual that many Muslims in Turkey regard as the first step to manhood.
Dressed as an Ottoman prince, Özcan’s son arrived in the mosque on horseback and sat down on a throne surrounded with imperial decorations. An Ottoman military band, janissary soldiers, fireplayers and women dressed as concubines accompanied the boy and his family.
Several people who came to the mosque to pray or to sightsee filmed the lavish prayer ceremony, which is scheduled to be followed by a party at a Bursa hotel on May 30. The images shared on social media triggered public reactions, with some users saying the deputy governor should resign, while some others linked the ceremony with “Neo-Ottomanism.”
Amid the public outcry, sources in the Bursa Governor’s Office told daily Hürriyet that Özcan has been retired from the civil service as of May 30.
“Mr. Özcan has been off-duty for a while. He took a leave of absence to organize the circumcision events. This was his last event. Gov. Münir Karaloğlu was uninformed about this ceremony,” a source told Hürriyet.