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The Turkish Family Law provides for various rights and obligations for the citizens of this country, but also for foreigners relocating here. Among the rights, are getting married and getting divorced in Turkey. A marriage can be concluded by Turkish citizens, by foreign citizens living in Turkey, but also by a Turkish and a foreign citizen.
The conditions imposed for the three types of marriage registration procedures are slightly different in terms of documentation and can be explained by our lawyers in Turkey. We also offer other legal services related to the Family Law; however, we can also assist those interested in setting up a business in Turkey, for example.
Conditions for foreigners getting married in Turkey
A foreigner who wants to get married in Turkey should know that only civil marriages are legally recognized. Additionally, any foreign or local citizen can have a religious ceremony only if he/she wants. A foreigner who is not legally allowed to marry in his country of residence can’t marry either in Turkey. If two foreigners of the same nationality decide to get married in Turkey, they will go in front of the authorities from the embassy or consulate of their country in Turkey or in front of Turkish authorities who are entitled to perform civil marriages. If you choose the second option, you need firstly a proof that you are allowed to marry. You can obtain this document from the authorities in your country of residence or from the embassy of your country in Turkey. If the foreigners have two different nationalities, they must go to the Turkish authorities for marriage. The same procedure is settled also for marriages between a foreign citizen and a Turkish citizen.
Conditions for getting married in Turkey
Every citizen who wants to get married in Turkey, in front of the Turkish authorities or the officials from the embassy, must observe the following conditions:
to be 19 years old or older; if one of the future spouses is younger, he/she needs special consent from his/her parents;
is not mentally ill;
is not close relatives to his/her future spouses;
if he/she was married before in any other country, then it is necessary to present a proof of divorce or marriage dissolution.
The citizens who want to get married in Turkey need a few documents, such as a petition, a certificate of celibacy proving he/she is eligible to marry, identification papers, photos of the two future spouses, health certificate.
There are also a few regulations for marring in Turkey. The two future spouses must be woman and man and the Turkish women, who have divorced before, must wait 300 days until they will marry again. Another country preferred by Turkish citizens for getting married is UAE with its famous Dubai where more and more ceremonies take place every year. For marriage in UAE, there are other conditions to observe. Here is a video presentation with more details:
Getting married as foreign citizens in Turkey
As mentioned earlier, foreign citizens are allowed to register their marriages to another foreigner or Turkish citizen in Turkey. Foreigners interested in registering their marriages in Turkey should know the following:
the civil registration of the marriage is the only legally recognized by the authorities;
foreign citizens are recommended to arrive a few days earlier before the ceremony takes place;
the presence of a sworn translator must be present in the case of two foreigners getting married and who do not speak Turkish;
if the foreign citizens also want to organize a religious marriage, this can only take place after the civil registration of the marriage.
The marriage of two foreign citizens in Turkey will be recognized in other countries. With respect to the documents which need to be provided, our Turkish lawyers can offer detailed information based on the foreigners’ country of origin.
It is important to know that the marriage registration documents must be filed by both future spouses, as they also need to fill out an application form. This requirement is necessary no matter the citizenship of the spouses. This is why it is important for foreigners interested in getting married in Turkey to arrive a few days earlier. It should also be noted that two witnesses are required to attend the ceremony. In the case of Turkish citizens, these cannot be family members, however, family friends are accepted.
Foreign citizens marrying a Turkish national
It is possible for a foreign citizen living in Turkey to marry a Turkish citizen provided that the former has been living here based on a residence or work permit. An important thing to notice is that each Turkish city has its own Civil Marriage Registration Office, so the requirements related to the documents which need to be presented by both spouses may differ. Another important aspect to consider is that the foreign citizen must have a valid residence or work permit upon filing the application for getting married in Turkey. If this requirement is not met, the marriage cannot be registered.
Also, the foreign citizen will be required to file certain documents which need to be translated in Turkish and apostilled. If in the case of the foreign national, the document requirements are the ones mentioned above, the foreign citizen must present the following with the Marriage Registration Office:
4 passport-size recent photographs (it is possible for 6 pictures to be required in certain cases);
the foreign citizen’s passport in original and copy (a translated copy can be requested);
the foreign citizen’s residence permit in original, but a copy is also necessary in certain cases;
the foreign citizen’s birth certificate which needs to be translated into Turkish;
the notarized permit to get married issued by the Embassy or Consulate in Turkey;
the translated and notarized divorce certificate (where available) and the healthcare certificate.
Our lawyer in Turkey can offer detailed information on the documents needed to get married as a foreign citizen in this country.
Short facts about Family Law in Turkey
The Family Law in Turkey protects not only the idea of family and children but also provides information about the rights a family has in this country. In the case of a divorce, the custody will enter the discussion, if minor children are involved. We remind that according to the Civil Code Law No. 4721, both parents are in charge of the good education of the child until he/she is 18 years of age. Children in Turkey have many rights, and parents must act in the best interest. If one of the parents obtains the custody, the other one will have to pay the alimony and sustain education and correct living conditions.
The same Family Law in Turkey provides information about the annulment of a marriage in this country, plus details about pre- and post-nuptial agreements that refer to the properties of future spouses. If you believe you need more details about marriage in Turkey and Family Law, please feel free to get in touch with our Turkish lawyers.
Pre-nuptial arrangements in Turkey – What you should know
According to the Civil Law in Turkey, future spouses have the right to protect their assets with the help of a prenup signed in the country, before the marriage. This kind of pre-nuptial agreement is settled at a public notary and comprises the marital property regime, according to the Civil Code and especially Article 242. In other words, a prenup will comprise information about the assets of spouses and the division of property in case of a separation or divorce. All the legal aspects of a pre-nuptial agreement can be discussed entirely with one of our lawyers in Turkey.
What is marriage annulment?
A marriage can be annulled if one of the spouses has been forced to get married, or the rights have been seriously violated. If one of the spouses lived outside Turkey for more than a year, the other one can solicit the annulment of marriage. Violence and abuse in a marriage are serious grounds to terminate a marriage in Turkey. If you believe you are found in this difficult position, you should request the legal advice and support of a Turkish lawyer. He/she can represent you with a power of attorney if you want to cancel the marriage. Feel free to address your inquiries to our specialists and be helped by a team of professionals.
Conditions and regulations for marriage in Turkey
The municipal authority or the local marriage registrar in Turkey can conduct a civil wedding ceremony, in the presence of a census office with legal validity. We remind you that a religious ceremony in Turkey cannot take place without the civil one. Moreover, if you intend to get married in Turkey, it is required to enter the country within a few days prior to the ceremony, to take care of all the necessary documents for the marriage. The paperwork and the formalities are not complex but it might take some time if you are a foreigner intending to get married in Turkey. This is where you can rely on the legal support of our law firm in Turkey and request assistance prior to your arrival in this country. This way you can be sure that all the formalities are handled in a correct manner before the ceremony takes place. It is important to note that future spouses must prepare a set of medical tests as part of the needed documents for marriage.
FAQ on marriage registration in Turkey
Getting married in Turkey is easier than in other countries, however, foreigners still have questions related to this procedure. Here are some of the most frequent ones:
1. How many days should we arrive in Turkey to get married as foreigners?
It is advisable to arrive at least 4 days earlier before the marriage ceremony takes place.
2. Where can I obtain the no impediment letter to get married in Turkey if I am a foreign citizen?
This document can be obtained from your country’s Consulate or Embassy in Turkey.
3. If we are both foreign citizens, do we need residence visas to enter Turkey?
No, foreign citizens are subject to any residence requirement, they will only need a tourist visa, for citizens where such requisite applies.
4. Do I still need to register my marriage in my home country after getting married in Turkey?
No, all marriages registered in Turkey are recognized internationally.
5. Are medical examinations necessary before a marriage ceremony?
Yes, the Turkish authorities require a set of medical exams prior to the marriage ceremony.
6. Who officiates the marriage ceremony in Turkey?
An official census is in charge of the marriage ceremony at the local registrar of marriages in Turkey.
7. Are there any accommodation requirements for getting married in Turkey?
No, there are no accommodation requirements, yet you need to enter Turkey within a few days before the marriage takes place.
8. Can I have a religious ceremony in Turkey?
Yes, you can have a religious ceremony after the civil one, as stated by the Turkish Civil Code.
9. Is it hard to get married in Turkey?
No, the marriage formalities are straightforward in Turkey.
10. Do I need a lawyer in Turkey for getting married?
Yes, foreigners should ask for the legal advice of a Turkish lawyer for getting married. He or she can handle the paperwork.
Nearly 4,500 foreign men married in Tukey in 2019.
More than 155,000 divorces took place in 2019 in Turkey.
Approximately 541,000 couples got married in Turkey in 2019.
Please feel free to contact us for any other questions you might have about getting married in Turkey. If you are a foreign citizen, you want to marry in Turkey and you need legal advice, our Turkish lawyers will provide you with information and legal assistance. Many new families want to have children after their marriage, so they need medical services in this regard and they should know that Turkey has modern facilities similar to Western countries. We can also offer other legal services on request.
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Cagatay Altunsoy is the the co-founder and coordinator of CS Yonetim ve Destek Hizmetleri and he is an experienced specialist in company formation and business consulting services provided for foreign investors all over the world.