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sünnet düğünü – the muslim circumcision

Enes Bozoklu,  8 years, the day before his circumcision, wearing a traditional costume, that all boys have to wear before, during and after the circumcision.
 The mother, grandmother and aunt of Enes Bozoklu preparing a traditional prince bed for the first night after the circumcision.
Enes Bozoklu, 8 years, playing computer one day before his circumcision, wearing his costume.
Mother and aunt of Enes Bozoklu checking his costume.
A boy and his father sitting in a mosque praying before the circumcision ceremony starts.
Portrait of Kemal Oezkan, the most famous circumciser of Turkey, sitting in front of his prizes.
Street scene in Istanbul, on weekends you can see many boys with prince costumes, a boy standing with his family in front of a mosque having a break.
Kerim Oezguel, 8 years, is circumcised by Murat Oezkan, this happens in a hall in front of all relatives.
The women wearing traditional red and yellow scarves, relatives praying.
Father and mother holding, kissing and supporting their son during the surgery.
The boys and their families dancing and celebrating, a clown cheering up the children.
After the circumcision the children have to kiss the hand of circumciser Kemal Oezkan to get his blessing.
After the circumcision, the brother of Kemal Oezkan explaining to the mother of the boy with trousers down the further steps.
A boy lying on the operating table, a doctor preparing needle and stitch, the father of the boy holding the hands of his son.
White patent leather shoes of a boy lying on the operating table, hand of the father.
A mother showing his son a toy to distract her son from the surgery.
A boy with trousers down looking confused after the circumcision.
Boys marching behind the clown showing a salute.
After the circumcision, on the way home the local anaesthetic easing off, the boy has a face twisted in pain.


With circumcision, around 1.5 million young Turks annually do the first step into manhood and thus become a full-fledged muslim. Whether they like it or not – the ritual is mandatory. Kemal Özkan, the most famous circumciser in Turkey, had more then 115,000 operations in his 40-year career. Politicians, celebrities and soccer stars sacrificed their foreskin for the faith by the king of the circumciser.

Istanbul – april 2011

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