divorce in turkey for foreigners

Divorce Proceedings for Foreigners in Turkey

Overall, the aim of this article is to address divorce in turkey for foreigners in Turkey. The present study will initially address Turkish family law & divorce regulations. Later the current study will conclude core suggestions regarding the process for divorce in Turkey. Later the current study will conclude core suggestions regarding the process from the establishment of a marriage union to divorce.

What is the meaning of divorce? 

Generally speaking, “divorce”means the termination of marital union based on the judgment of the court. More specifically, it may be regarded as “legal ending of a marriage”. It is of course possible for foreigners to divorce by the judgment of Turkish Family Courts provided that their marriage is registered with the civil registration in Turkey and they have a valid marriage.

What are the key legal instruments on divorce proceedings for foreigners in Turkey? 

The question of what the divorce laws are in Turkey is the first thing to be taken into account. According to internationally recognized rules, a private law issue containing any foreign element must be considered within the ambit of private international law. Therefore the first legal instrument to be applied in divorce proceedings for foreigners is the Act on Private International and Procedural Law (Numbered 5718). According to Article 14, the grounds and provisions for divorce and separation shall be governed by the common national law of the spouses. But if the spouses have different nationalities, the law of the place of their common habitual residence, in case of absence of such residence, Turkish law shall govern. That is the case for demands for maintenance between divorced spouses and custody issues.

Secondly, the next legal instrument to be considered is Turkish Civil Code.

What are common reasons for divorce?   

There are a broad range of reasons for divorce. But the Law recognizes only some of them as legal. It is changeable from country to country.

What are legal reasons for divorce in Turkey? 

Legally acceptable reasons for divorce are stipulated by law in Turkey. Indeed, limited grounds are articulated in Turkish Civil Code (Numbered 4721):

  • Infidelity (adultery),
  • Attempted murder, ill-treatment or degrading behavior,
  • Conviction of crime or/and dishonorable way of life,
  • Abandonment,
  • Mental disorder,
  • Deterioration of conjugal union.

For our work and all legal services on that matter, please also click our “Practice Areas”, titled “Family and Divorce”.

Divorce lawyer in Ankara and divorce lawyer in İstanbul helps not only Turkish citizens but also foreigners under the framework of Pi Legal Consultancy.

Which court is the competent court for divorce cases? 

Regarding divorce cases containing an element of foreignness,it is important to consider which court may be seen as “authorized” pursuant to procedural law. That is of great importance for particularly foreign individuals. In accordance with Article 168 of the Turkish Civil Code, the competent court is the place of residence of one of the spouses or the court where they have lived together for the last six months before the lawsuit.

How can foreign citizens be served with legal papers abroad?

The Notification Law (Numbered 7201) is at the center of notification of court documents. Article 25 governs that foreigners can be served with legal documents. Court summons may be served through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Turkish Embassies or Consulate Generals in foreign countries.

How can a Turkish family court judgment affect to foreign partners living abroad?  

For divorce in Turkey, it is necessary to take a decision from the Turkish family courts. According to Article 9 of Turkish Constitution, judicial power shall be exercised by independent and impartial courts on behalf of the Turkish Nation. It is of course to stress that judicial authorities in Turkey will have the power to deliver a decision on a divorce case. Any decisions of Turkish family courts are only applicable within the ambit of official territorial jurisdiction of Turkey. Having said that, the recognition and enforcement of court judgments is an internationally recognized norm at the international level.

Is there a way to access any divorce case in Turkey without any attorney?  

In the absence of a valid power attorney document, anybody will be able to have access to court files in Turkey. The Turkish judicial system uses an e-justice system. It is called as UYAP ensuring a fast, reliable, and accurate justice system. But the UYAP is used only within the jurisdiction of Turkey.


In conclusion, this article offers provide a brief overview of divorce proceedings for foreigners and divorce lawyers in Turkey. It briefly presents the legal procedures for divorce in Turkey. Divorce procedures touching upon foreigners is not an easy process in Turkey. This article will help you understand the process. Family law attorneys are generally aware of the fact that divorce litigation represents complicated areas of domestic and international law. Without a full-fledged legal consultation and representation, a divorce case may turn into an unintended process. Particularly solution-oriented approach is needed through particularly English-speaking lawyers for any divorce case covering an element of foreignness in Turkey.

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