Upon heavy demands we received from our foreigner clients and client candidates, we have decided to publish this article, Marriage in Turkey For Foreigners which includes information regarding conditions of getting married in Turkey which is also explaining the procedure for marrying in Turkey for foreigners, documents required for a marriage in Turkey and regulations for marriage in Turkey along with a few more useful subheadings.

Our law firm in Turkey is pleased to provide legal consultancy and offer services for foreigners who want to get married officially in Turkey. MESCI Law Firm has legally assisted many foreign clients to get married in Turkey and has witnessed the happiness of many couples from Russia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and from many other countries. Please contact our law firm for legal consultancy. 

Getting Married As Foreign Citizens in Turkey 

Applications made by foreigners regarding their marriage requests are accepted by the related Marriage Office and these persons are subject to the Marriage Regulation numbered 85/9747 and dated 10/7/1985 and therefore are subject to the principles and procedural provisions of this Regulation regarding the marriage of Turkish citizens. Pursuant to Article 12 of the mentioned Marriage Regulation, a Turkish citizen and a foreigner or two foreigners of different nationalities can get married in Turkey in front of an authorised Turkish marriage officer.

According to the same article, two foreigners who are citizens of the same country can get married before the representatives of that state based in Turkey, as well as before the competent Turkish authorities, provided that their national laws permit them. In order for the marriage to bear its legal consequences, the marriage contract must be made in front of an official. Such marriages are internationally recognized and legally binding.

Liability To Notify the Marriage Made Before The Marriage Authority Of The Foreign Country To Relevant Turkish Authority 

A foreign citizen and a Turkish citizen, or two Turkish citizens can marry before the relevant authorities of a foreign country. Such a marriage in Turkey will be deemed valid in  Turkey provided that such a marriage is not contrary to Turkish regulations.

In such a case the marriage shall be notified by the husband if both of the spouses are Turkish citizens, or by the Turkish citizen spouse if only one of the spouses is a Turkish citizen, by submitting or sending the document to be obtained from the foreign competent authority to the nearest Turkish Consulate within thirty days following the date of marriage.

Following the expiry of the said 30 days period, the marriage still may be registered in the family register by a notification to be made before the Turkish authorities, but in this case, an administrative fine will be applied.

Conditions For Foreigners Getting Married In Turkey

In order for foreign nationals to get married before the Turkish authorities, they must first obtain a marriage certificate (also known as the Certificate of Capacity to Marry).  Marriage certificate can be defined as a document providing terms and conditions to marry under his/her national law at the time of the marriage, proving the information also that one is eligible to marry without any problem or objection, indicating also one’s’ identity information. It is important to note that, marriage certificate is only valid for six months. 

According to the Marriage Regulation, the marriage certificate must be obtained from the state authorities of which the parties are nationals. Within the marriage certificate, full name of the foreign national, full names of father and mother of the foreign national, date of birth, passport and identity numbers, marriage status and if any, obstacles to marry shall be clearly indicated and mentioned document shall be duly certified.

If the marriage certificate will be obtained by the foreign national from the competent authority of his/her own country, this document shall be also apostilled. The apostilled document must be translated by a sworn translator in Turkey and  the aforementioned translation  must be approved by a notary public based in Turkey.

If foreign spouses have obtained their marriage certificate from the local consulate of their country in Turkey, the document may also need to be approved by another competent authority in Turkey, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Therefore, it would be useful to get information from the relevant local consulate before obtaining the marriage certificate. On the other hand, those who present a certificate of celibacy along with a birth certificate will not be obliged to present a marriage certificate. 

It is important to note that marriage certificates of some foreigners stated in law such as the refugees in Turkey, the persons that are in secondary protection status, the international protection applicants and the foreigners that are within the scope of temporary protection shall be issued by the Provincial Immigration Authority. 

Documents Required To Get Married In Turkey For Foreigners

Passport photos of the future spouses taken within the last six months; notarized copies of their translated passports and identities; visas; residence permits if their visa has expired; information about the hotel they use for temporary accommodation proving also the date of stay in Turkey; health reports obtained from family physicians or state hospitals in Turkey; if any, previous divorce certificates; if any, death certificate of your previous spouse and previous marriage certificate; copy of civil registry/birth certificate and certificate of celibacy proving he/she is eligible to marry, are the required documents for foreigners to present for marriage in Turkey.

In addition, if the parties do not know Turkish, we recommend that they have a sworn translator with them during the application to be made to the Turkish Marriage Office. Pursuant to Article 18 of the Marriage Regulation, the application for marriage in Turkey is made before the Marriage Office with a declaration drawn up and signed by the bride and the groom or their attorneys. As it can be understood from the provision, it is possible to apply with an attorney but in such a case a Power of Attorney with special relevant authorization must be issued for the attorney. A copy of the power of attorney is also placed in the marriage application file. 

Acquisition of Turkish Citizenship By Marriage in Turkey 

Marriage of a foreign national with a Turkish citizen does not directly grant the foreign national Turkish citizenship. However, in accordance with Article 16 of the 5901 numbered Turkish Citizenship Code, foreigners who have been married to a Turkish citizen for at least 3 (three) years and whose marriage continues can apply for acquisition of Turkish citizenship. Applicants are required to live in a family union and not to engage in any activity incompatible with the union of marriage in Turkey.

Conditions For Getting Married In Turkey  

Terms and conditions to get married in Turkey and conditions for a valid marriage are regulated under 4721 numbered Turkish Civil Code, Article 124, ff. and 85/9747 numbered and 10/7/1985 dated Marriage Regulation, Article 15, ff. We can say that there are two main conditions to be legally eligible for marriage. The conditions for eligibility to marry are, to have reached the age of marriage and to have the power of discernment. Any man or woman who has reached the age of eighteen and has not been placed under guardianship by the court may marry without the consent of a third party.

Impediments to Marry In Turkey 

In Turkish law system, kinship, being married to another person, not expiration of the legal waiting period for the woman, disappearance, absence of the health board report in accordance with the Code of Practice Regarding Marriage Examination, having syphilis, gonorrhoea, chancroid, leprous, phthisis and similar contagious diseases and mental disorder are accepted as impediments to marry.

In our law system AIDS/HIV is not a disease preventing marriage if the future spouse is notified and is not mistaken to marry. Pursuant to Article 132 of the Turkish Civil Code, if the marriage has ended, the woman cannot remarry until 300 (three hundred) days have passed from the end of the previous marriage. Again persons suffering from mental diseases cannot marry unless it is understood with the official health board report that such a mental disease will not cause a medical problem in their marriage in Turkey.

What Is Marriage Annulment? 

Marriage is deemed to have legally ended in the event of the death of one of the spouses; in case of declaration of absence upon disappearance of one of the spouses in danger of death or the absence of one of the spouses where no information is received from the absent spouse, finalisation of a divorce decree, in case of annulment of marriage upon existence of absolute nullity or voidable marriage. Termination of the marriage by divorce and annulment of the marriage due to invalidity of marriage are two separate institutions/methods that end the marriage.

Provisions regarding null marriages are regulated under 4721 numbered Turkish Civil Code, Article 145, ff. As per Turkish law, marriage in Turkey shall be void with nullity in the following circumstances:

  • One of the spouses is already married at the time of marriage; one of the spouses does not have mental competence due to a persistent reason
  • One of the spouses has mental illness to the degree that it poses an obstacle to marriage;
  • There is consanguinity between the spouses to the degree that it poses an obstacle to marriage;
  • Temporary deprivation of mental competence during marriage;
  • Marriage with falsehood, deception or determent,

a lawsuit for annulment of the marriage can be filed.

Turkish Civil Code, Article 154 indicates that marrying before the expiration of 300 days of waiting period shall not necessitate nullity of the marriage. Right to sue for annulment of the marriage shall be used within 6 (six) months as of the date whet the reason for annulment is learnt.

Pre-nuptial agreements in Turkey

In Turkish law, it is possible to make nuptial agreements previous to the marriage also known as marital property division agreements previous to or at the time of marriage before the marriage officer (prenuptial agreements) or after the time of marriage before a notary public (post-nuptial agreements).

Nuptial agreements actually are legal documents that regulate only how the property of the parties will be managed during the marriage, and how the properties will be divided when the property is seperated and liquidated after the divorce. 

In Turkish law, future spouses are not obliged to issue a nuptial agreement (marital property division agreement) previous to the marriage. Spouses married after the date 01.01.2022 and haven’t chosen a specific asset regime defined under Turkish law by issuing a prenuptial agreement previous to the marriage, automatically will be subject to acquired asset regime (Article 220, ff.  of the Turkish Civil Code).

Participation in the acquired property regime shall encompass the acquired property and personal property of each one of the spouses.  However, if spouses are not willing to be subject to acquired property regime, they can make a prenuptial agreement and determine a specific property regime stated under Turkish law, such as separation of property regime (Article 242, ff. of the Turkish Civil Code) meaning that spouses can protect their management and disposition rights on his or her own properties within the regulations stated in law.

On the other hand, prenuptial agreements that ignore the regulations set forth in law and are contrary to public order, personal rights and morals are deemed null and void. Considering the Article 184 of the Turkish Civil Code, it cannot be said that the agreements signed between the spouses for the liquidation of property after divorce, including prenuptial agreements, are valid unless approved (found acceptable and fair) by the Judge eventually.

It is important to note that a prenuptial agreement stipulating that the parties may divorce upon first hearing if the other party does not comply with these conditions by specifying a number of conditions, and that the party who does not comply with the conditions cannot demand any material interest or property from the other party, will not be valid as it will be against public order.

It would be wrong to assume that the terms of each nuptial agreement reflected in the social media are applicable in terms of Turkish law, since the nuptial agreements reflected in the social media and newspapers about the marriages occur abroad are created according to the laws of that country and their validity can be discussed according to the laws of that country.

It will be legally useful to get support from a divorce lawyer who is also specialised in marital property division for marriage in Turkey, who can inform you in detail about which type of properties cannot be included in the distribution in case if a prenuptial agreement is made, legal terms and conditions of regimes, the terms for validity of the contract and the rights of parties to be observed effectively for the preparation of your prenuptial agreement in order to prevent loss of rights of one of the spouses.  

Can foreigners marry in Turkey?

A Turkish national and a foreigner or two foreigners with different nationalities can be married by Turkish authorities. Two foreigners of the same nationality can be married either by the offices of their own Country’s Embassy or Consulate or by the Turkish authorities.

What documents do I need to marry in Turkey?

Passport photos of the future spouses taken within the last six months; notarized copies of their translated passports and identities; visas; residence permits if their visa has expired; information about the hotel they use for temporary accommodation proving also the date of stay in Turkey; health reports obtained from family physicians or state hospitals in Turkey


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