Conditions for Getting Married in Turkey
Find out about the legal requirements for getting married in Turkey...
In order to be legally married in Turkey, the following apply:
- Marriage is only permitted between a man and a woman
- Any person being married must be at least 18 years of age (if judged to understand proceedings, a person from age 16 may be married with a parent or guardian's consent)
- Close relatives may not marry
- Polygamy is not accepted; monogamy is an essential principle of Turkish family law and anyone currently married may not be married in Turkey
- Women who have been previously married may not remarry until 300 days from the date of that marriage ending
Note: while this applies to all Turkish women, it need not apply to a foreigner
- Sufferers of mental illnesses judged by health authorities to not have the capacity to understand may not be married
Preparing for marriage in Turkey
Details on all documents required to marry are available from the registry office. Expect the following documents to be required by both parties wishing to be married:
- Passport/Identification: non-residents must show a passport with valid tourist visa translated into Turkish by a certified notary in Turkey or by the Turkish embassy or consulate in their country
- Full birth certificate: translated into Turkish by a certified notary in Turkey or the Turkish embassy or consulate in their country
- Health certificate: issued following a medical examination at the State Medical Institution (Sağlık Ocağı or Devlet Hastanesi) specified by the chosen registry office. Blood tests are taken to check for contagious diseases. Chest x-rays are sometimes required
- Photos: six passport-size photos
- Decree Absolute: if divorced
- Spouse's death certificate, previous marriage certificate: if widowed
- Deed Poll: if the birth name has been officially changed
- Adoption certificate: if adopted
- Letter of consent from a parent or guardian: if under 18 and judged fit to marry
- Accommodation document: foreign couples not resident in Turkey must provide a letter of accommodation written by the hotel stating the duration of stay and departure date
All foreigners being married in Turkey are also required to provide a Certificate of No Impediment/Certificate of Capacity to Marry/Certificate of Celibacy/Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry. Known by different names in different English-speaking countries, this document certifies that a person is legally free to be married.
- Foreign residents: request this document from their embassy or local consular office. Once completed, it must be taken to the consular department of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to be notarised. Full guidance and the document are available from foreign embassies and consulates in Turkey
Note: Some embassies take up to six weeks to issue this document
- Non-resident foreigners: request this document from their home municipal office. It must be translated in to Turkish by a notarised translator and then certified by the Turkish embassy or consulate in that country
The marrying couple complete a marriage declaration (Evlenme Beyannamesi). This is a form provided by the registry office; two copies of this declaration to marry must be completed in Turkish and signed by each person being married.
- For a translation guide to the content of a marriage declaration form: Click here
Pre-nuptial agreements (Esler Arasindaki Mal Rejimi)
If pre-nuptial agreements are to be put in place, consult a lawyer. The agreements can be written after the application to marry has been made.
Marriage application procedure
The bride and groom must apply in person the local registry office and submit the Evlenme Beyannamesi (marriage declaration), Certificate of No Impediment/Affidavit of Eligibility and the other documents mentioned above. If one of the couple is unable to attend, a proxy may be sent, however the process to qualify is relatively complicated.
If the registry office is satisfied with the application, a district alderman (muhtar) certifies the documents and the stamped and dated marriage declaration gives permission to marry. This is valid for six months; the marriage can take place within 48 hours of this licence being issued.