·24/04/2022·Life in Turkey·2 min·

Marrying in Turkey: Guidelines for Foreign Nationals and Turkish Citizens […]

Marrying in Turkey: Guidelines for Foreign Nationals and Turkish Citizens

Foreign nationals have the opportunity to marry in Turkey, either with a Turkish citizen or another foreign national. To ensure the marriage is legally recognized in Turkey, it’s mandatory to sign a marriage contract in the presence of an authorized officer. Authorized officers in Turkey include mayors or their designated officials in municipal areas, and village leaders in rural areas.

Marriage between Turkish Citizens and Foreigners

When one party is Turkish and the other is foreign, or both parties are foreigners, they can marry under Turkish jurisdiction. Foreign nationals must secure a Certificate of Celibacy from their home country’s consulate, proving their eligibility for marriage. This certificate must be verified by relevant Turkish authorities depending on the consulate issuing the certificate — for instance, by the Istanbul Governor’s Office of Legal Affairs or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara. If the certificate is issued abroad, it requires legalization by the Turkish Embassy or an Apostille.

Requirements for Marriage to a Foreigner

Both individuals intending to marry need to jointly apply at the municipality where one of them resides or through a legally authorized representative. The following documents are required as per Article 20 of the Marriage Regulation:

For Turkish Citizens:

  • A valid Republic of Turkey Identity Card with updated marital status;
  • Five passport-sized photographs;
  • A health certificate from a Family Health Physician (certificates from private hospitals require validation).

For Foreign Nationals:

  • A notarized Turkish-translated copy of the passport (applications will be rejected if any document has expired);
  • Five passport-sized photographs;
  • A health certificate from a Family Health Physician;
  • A valid residence permit for those living in Turkey;
  • A Certificate of Celibacy and Birth, obtainable from the individual’s home country or its consulate in Turkey; (Those whose mother and father’s name is included in the Celibacy Certificate (Singleness) certificate do not need to obtain a birth certificate).

Special Considerations for International Protection Seekers

According to Article 13 of the Marriage Regulation and Law No. 5718, marriage applications from refugees, stateless individuals, or those with irregular citizenship status are accepted with specific documentation. This includes a marriage eligibility certificate from the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs or a document based on security records if no population registration exists.

The legal framework also outlines that the law of each party’s nationality at the time of marriage determines marriage capacity and conditions. However, if the parties have different nationalities or no common habitual residence, Turkish law prevails.

For Syrian nationals under temporary protection, irregular applications (those made without passports or celibacy certificates) are processed based on documents provided by the General Directorate of Migration Management and provincial authorities, following records maintained by these entities. Syrian nationals wishing to marry should apply to the Provincial Directorates of Migration Management with a “Marriage License Certificate” based on current records.

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