The Divorce of Foreigners in Turkey
Divorce of foreigners in Turkey is regulated under the title of “Divorce and Separation” in Article 14 of Law No. 5718 International Private and Civil Procedure. According to the related article;
- The grounds and provisions for divorce and separation shall be governed by the common national law of the spouses. 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.
- The provisions of the first clause shall also govern demands for maintenance between divorced spouses. This provision also governs in cases of separation and nullity of marriage.
- Custody and problems thereof per divorce are also governed by the provisions of the first clause.
- Turkish law shall govern demands for temporary measures. The main things of these measures are issues such as; sheltering, caring, protection, the subsistence of spouses and children, and management of spouse’s property. Turkish law is applied to prevent the loss of rights in these matters.
Two Situations Can Be Encountered in Case of Divorce of Foreign Citizens in Turkey
The first one is that one of the spouses is a Turkish citizen and the other is a foreign citizen. The second possible case is that both spouses are also foreign citizens living in Turkey.
In the first situation, if the foreign spouse filed for divorce in his or her home country, the Turkish citizen must live in Turkey at the time of the divorce application. In the second case, the common national law of foreign spouses is enforced, if it has to be in separate citizenship, common habitual residence law is applied, and if there is no habitual residence, Turkish law is applied.
In summary, foreign national married couples can get divorced in Turkey. The court to open the divorce case is the family court of Turkey. The competent court is the court where the habitual residence is located. If they are divorced in their own country, they must first obtain recognition from Turkish courts and prove the legitimacy of their divorce processes in Turkey before requesting enforcement.
For example, a Turkish citizen who married a German citizen can divorce in Germany or Turkey (if they have habitual residence in Turkey.). General power rules apply here, to open and continue the divorce case with the help of a lawyer, a lawyer must be given a power of attorney. A power of attorney is required for the execution of all procedures and transactions in court as a proxy during the trial. If you are going to get divorced in Turkey and need legal aid, contact one of our expert Turkish lawyers.
Foreign Divorce Cases in Turkey Are Special Cases
People living in Turkey, the same as people living abroad, can give power of attorney to a lawyer and the notary public may submit the power of attorney to a lawyer through the consulate in Turkey. Divorce cases are one of the special cases that require special power of attorney. The person has to give his attorney a special divorce proxy. In this power of attorney prepared at the notary public, all powers should be listed.
There must be photographs in these power of attorneys. It’s also possible for people from abroad to give power of attorney to the relevant consulate. For example, he or she can give power of attorney to his or her lawyer living in Izmir, Turkey. The person concerned will send this power of attorney to his or her lawyer and will be able to have his or her lawyer sue for the type of lawsuit he or she wants. Which is a divorce in this case.
In practice, recognition and enforcement are required since the German courts have approved the divorce judgment of the competent Turkish court to be valid in Turkey. This process is like a second divorce. Law No. 5718 on International Private Law and Procedural Law Article 58 made the recognition of foreign court decisions in Turkey.
Recognition is only related to divorce decisions and enforcement requires enforcement decisions. The court is in charge of recognition and enforcement cases in the courts of the first instance per Article 51 of the International Private Law and Procedural Law.
The competent courts are included in article 51/2 of MOHUK: These decisions shall be requested from the court at the place of habitual residence of the person against whom enforcement is requested if he/she does have a domicile in Turkey, or from one of the courts in Istanbul, Ankara, or Izmir if he/she does not have a domicile or habitual residence in Turkey.
Documents required for recognition and enforcement: The original or certified copy of the divorce decision issued by the foreign court, the annotation indicating that the divorce decision has been finalized, the APOSTIL comment to be taken on the original of the divorce decision (usually done on the back page of the court decision), the translation of the divorce decree, the interpretation of the apostille and the apostille interpretation into Turkish by the sworn translator.
It has been confirmed by the consulate that after being translated into Turkish, and a copy of the passport and ID card has been notarized, the consulate will recognize a lawyer for divorce proceedings in Turkey. If both spouses are foreigners, divorce is allowed in Turkey if the divorce of the spouse is settled in a Turkish court. For example, if a couple decides to live permanently in Istanbul, they may file for divorce in Turkish courts.
Related Article: The Marriage of Foreigners in Turkey.