Marriage & Divorce
Turkish Marriage Procedure For Americans
Updated on 2011
All marriages in Turkey must be performed under the authority of the Turkish Civil Code to be legally recognized. Religious ceremonies are not legally recognized.
Please be advised that no marriage ceremonies are performed at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Turkey. U.S. military personnel are reminded that they may have to obtain the approval of their commanding officers before marrying.
Turkish women who have been previously married may not remarry within 300 days of the final date of divorce or the death of her husband. This waiting period can only be waived with a Turkish court decree.
A medical examination is required in order to marry. The examination may be performed in designated medical clinics determined by the Turkish Bureau of Marriages. Each marriage bureau will use different clinics for these tests. You will need to contact the marriage bureau of your choice for the addresses of these clinics. A report of medical examination includes applicant's blood type and results of blood tests for HIV, Hepatitis B & C, and Syphilis and indicates that the applicant has no contagious diseases.
- Obtain an Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry from the American Embassy, Consular Section. You will need to present your passport or birth certificate and ID Card, if military. If you have been married previously, you must also submit an original or a certified copy of your divorce decree. The fee for notarizing the affidavit of eligibility to marry is $50.00. U.S. Government employees and military members employed under the Chief of Mission and their dependents are exempt from this fee. This form is valid only for 6 months.
- The Turkish government requires authentication of the American Consular Officer's signature. Any Monday through Friday between 09:00-12:00 and 14:00-15:30, except holidays, take the notarized Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry together with a copy to the Consular Department of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). The MFA is located at Dr. Sadik Ahmet Cad. No.8 Balgat, Ankara, Tel: (312) 292-2030. The fee for this service is 22.60 TL (as of Jan 1, 2011) payable in Turkish Lira (subject to change).
- Make three copies of both sides of this affidavit (after MFA has stamped it) and one copy of the data and photo pages of your passport or ID card, if military. (They are required in the marriage bureau).
- Each person will need to have five photographs, front view, 2x2 inches in size.
- Each Mayoral District has a marriage bureau. Learn which district your residence falls and pick up a "Marriage Declaration" form (Evlenme Beyannamesi), from the Marriage Bureau. Below are selected Marriage Bureaus in Ankara:
- Two letter-sized envelopes and postage stamps should be brought during the application.
- Depending on your answers, the marriage official may require additional steps to be taken. For instance, if you stated that you need your future spouse to undergo a medical examination, you may be referred to a health institution for this purpose. In this case, an appointment for the wedding may be set for after the examination.
- As of January 1, 2011, the fee for the marriage at the marriage bureaus;
- without ceremony - 67 TL;
- with ceremony
- Monday through Friday before 17:00 p.m. - 140 TL
- Monday through Friday after 17:00 p.m. - 155 TL
- Saturday and Sunday before 17:00 p.m. – 290 TL
- Saturday and Sunday after 17:00 p.m. – 340 TL
- Two witnesses who are not your close relatives must attend the marriage ceremony. If your Turkish is limited, an interpreter/translator will be required to assist you in understanding and responding to the marriage officer's questions. A witness may NOT simultaneously act as an interpreter. Marriage ceremonies will not be performed within 48 hours of submitting your documents to the marriage bureau.
- Children under the age of 18 old must obtain permission from parents or custodians before they can marry. Names should be written on the marriage declaration and should be certified by the alderman or a notary public. If one parent is deceased, a death certificate from the Birth Registration Office should be brought. Children under the age of 16 must bring a court decree to be eligible to marry.
- If you would like to use your maiden name together with your married name you should complete two original copies of application forms available from the Marriage Bureau at the time of your initial registration. Good luck.
Vedat Dalokay Nikah Sarayi,
Cok Katli Oto Park Karsisi,
Kurtulus Parki ici, Sihhiye, Ankara.
Tel: (312) 431-1667
Genclik Parki Ici
Tel: (312) 310-1634
Belediye Sarayi Kat: 3
Tel: (312) 315-7193
Direct or (312) 343-3000x2280
Kecioren Belediyesi Kat: 2
Kalaba Kent Meydani
Tel: (312) 361-1046 or
On the right hand side of this page, you can find an English language translation of the marriage declaration form for reference only. Answers must be recorded on the Turkish language form in Turkish. Each person should complete two original copies of this form in ink.
After affixing the pictures, the marriage declaration must be certified by a district alderman (muhtar).
When completing the marriage declaration be careful not to make any errant marks. Neatly cross out any mistakes and initial next to the correction.
The applicant’s date of birth should be written as day, month, and year.
Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry
If you are willing to get marry in Turkey, you first need to fill out the Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry form and have it notarized by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has power in your marriage province. Please check the below list to see where you need to have your document notarized.
An Appointment is necessary in order to get the Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry form in Ankara. To book an appointment, please follow this link.
The U.S. Embassy in ANKARA:
If you are going to get marry in one of the below provinces of Turkey, you need to have your Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry document notarized at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.
Afyon, Agri, Aksaray, Amasya, Ankara, Antalya, Ardahan, Artvin, Aydin, Bartin, Bayburt, Burdur, Cankiri, Corum, Denizli, Erzincan, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Giresun, Gumushane, Igdir, Isparta, Izmir, Karabuk, Karaman, Kars, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kirikkale, Kirsehir, Konya, Kutahya, Manisa, Mugla, Nevsehir, Nigde, Ordu, Rize, Samsun, Sinop, Sivas, Tokat, Trabzon, Usak, Yozgat and Zonguldak.
The U.S. Consulate General in ISTANBUL:
If you are going to get marry in one of the below provinces of Turkey, you need to have your Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry document notarized at the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey.
Balikesir, Bilecik, Bolu, Bursa, Canakkale, Düzce, Edirne, Istanbul, Kirklareli, Kocaeli, Sakarya, Tekirdag, and Yalova.
The U.S. Consulate in ADANA:
If you are going to get marry in one of the below provinces of Turkey, you need to have your Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry document notarized at the U.S. Consulate in Adana, Turkey.
Adana, Adiyaman, Batman, Bingol, Bitlis, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Gaziantep, Hakkari, Hatay, Icel, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malatya, Mardin, Mus, Osmaniye, Siirt, Sanliurfa, Sirnak, Tunceli, and Van.
The Republic of Turkey legally recognizes marriages executed in Turkey only after the marriage is registered at a local Vital Statistics office (Nufus Dairesi). In Turkey, all family records are recorded in the Vital Statistics office that was the original home to the family. Even if no one currently lives in that area, births, marriages, divorces, and other events are recorded in this one location. In the event the marriage was executed in another country, the marriage may be registered through the nearest Turkish consulate. The Turkish Consulate will forward the documents to the office that handles that family record book.
To terminate a legal marriage recognized in Turkey, American citizens are required to obtain a court divorce decree from a Turkish civil court. Divorce decrees issued in jurisdictions outside of Turkey are not considered valid for purposes of divorce in Turkey. A divorce decree issued in the United States is valid for the purposes of petitioning for a beneficiary with the Department of Homeland Security and interviewing with the U.S. Embassy. However, under certain circumstances it may be advisable for the divorcees to also register the divorce with the Turkish courts in order to legally terminate the marriage in Turkey. This is not necessary for all cases and would generally only take place for a marriage which was originally registered with the Turkish courts, where one member may continue to reside in Turkey, and for the purposes of that person’s legal standing within Turkey.
A power of attorney, available in Turkey from any notary public, must be granted to an attorney who will start the divorce proceedings. A separate list of attorneys is also available from the U.S. Embassy.
Divorce proceedings are generally open to the public. However, at the request of either party, a judge may choose to preside over a closed or private court case. Judges may also take temporary measures for the protection of the parties, their property, and the welfare of their children.
When a divorce case is opened, a judge may decide on separation if he or she determines there is a possibility of the parties reconciling. A period of 1-3 years can be given for separation before the final decision to grant a divorce is reached.
Following a divorce, the woman generally resumes the last name she had before the marriage. She may, however, continue to use her husband's last name if the judge approves this decision. The divorced woman may not legally remarry within 300 days following the date of the dissolution except in cases where court permission is obtained. Additionally, some divorce decrees may have a specific notation restricting marriage for any reason; the party subject to the restriction may not remarry within the period specified on the decree.
In divorce cases in Turkey, the court also rules on child custody issues. The court may compel non-custodial parents to contribute to each child's health and education expenses in proportion to the parent's economic status.
Chapter 2 of the Turkish Civil Code provides the following possible grounds for opening court cases for a divorce or separation in Turkey:
- Adultery, Maltreatment, threat to life, severe insult
- Committing a crime which degrades the integrity or the prestige of the other party
- Deserting home: If one of the parties leaves home and does not return for at least 6 months without showing a valid reason and also does not respond to the Judge's warnings, the deserted spouse may open a court case for a divorce. The party who has forced his/her spouse to leave home or who prevents the return of the spouse without any valid reason is also considered to have deserted his/her home.
- Mental illness: If one of the parties has a mental problem which is confirmed by an official medical committee report that it cannot be treated, a court case for a divorce can easily be opened.
- Incompatibility: Though this is the widest area of grounds for opening divorce cases, the Defendant has the right to reject a court case if the Plaintiff is found to be more at fault. If the judge, however, decides that the right of rejection is being exploited and that there is no benefit for the Defendant and the children in maintaining the marriage, a decision for divorce can be made.
If the marriage has lasted for at least one year and a joint application for divorce is made, or a court case opened by one spouse is accepted by the other spouse, the marriage is considered to be impaired. In such cases, the Judge listens to both sides and approves the agreement reached by the parties regarding the protection of the children and financial affairs. The Judge has the authority to make any changes on the arrangements. If both parties consent to these changes, the divorce decision is given.
If three years have elapsed from the date a divorce case is rejected and living together has not been established, the marriage is considered to be impaired and a divorce decision is given upon application to the court by either spouse.
The American Citizen Services are provided between 14:00 and 16:30 pm Monday to Thursday.
You need to make an online appointment before you visit Online Appointment System
You may call (90) (312) 455 5555 or fax us on (90) (312) 466 5684.
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