How to marry in Turkey?

Marriage Formalities for Foreigners

Turkish certificate of marriageMarrying in Turkey might be a dream for many foreigners, because the country offers many idyllic sites, beaches, mountains, resorts, and great cities depending on your preferences for the places of a wedding. And the good thing is that you can start your honeymoon right after your wedding without losing any time; maybe taking a private tour to be away from the crowd, or a Gulet cruise in the Aegean shores.

According to the Turkish Marriage Legislation and regulations, a Turkish national and a foreigner or two foreigners with different nationalities can get married in Turkey, which can be done only by the competent Turkish authorities. Two foreigners from the same nationality can marry in Turkey either in the offices of their own Country's Embassy or Consulate, or in the Turkish Marriage Offices run by local municipalities. Please note that religious weddings are not recognized by the State, there has to be a civil wedding.

All the marriages in Turkey, Whether they are foreigners or Turkish, has to be conducted by the Turkish authorities and should be regulated according to the Turkish Civil Code and its related regulations.

Foreigners who want to marry in Turkey must provide their marriage licences issued by the proper Civil Status Register of his/her own country and proove that they're not already married at the moment. Otherwise, Turkish relevant authorities do not conduct these marriages. This means that the married couples cannot again be married in Turkey under the Turkish Law.

Conditions for a valid marriage

  • Capacity to marry: Only those persons who have sufficient mental capacity to make fair judgments are allowed to marry. Mental illness is, therefore, a bar to marriage. In addition, a person must have reached the minimum age of 18 to marry.
  • Absence of consanguinity: Marriage between close relatives is prohibited.
  • Already existing marriage: Monogamy is one of the essential principles of Turkish family law. A second marriage can not be entered into before the first one is terminated.
  • Waiting period: Married women whose marriage has been dissolved cannot marry before the expiration of three hundred days (nine months) from the date of dissolution. The divorce decree may also state a waiting period within which the spouse may not remarry.
  • Sickness: Certain sicknesses, such as epilepsy, hysteria etc, constitute a bar to marriage.

Necessary documents for the marriage

  • Petition of the marriage. To start an action, the groom and bride must file a petition of the marriage in person at the Municipality (Belediye), called as "Evlenme Beyannamesi" in Turkish.
  • Passport and/or birth certificate, which has to be translated in Turkish language by relevant authorities; this can be the Turkish Embassy in your country of origin or a certified notary in Turkey.
  • Health certificate, which has to be taken from a State medical institution in Turkey, named as "Saglik Ocagi" or "Devlet Hastanesi" in Turkish. Any report to be issued by private hospitals or clinics will not be accepted.
  • Six passport size recently taken photos belonging to bride and to groom.
  • Certificate of Capacity to Marry (Certificate of Celibacy), which states if a person is single, divorced, or widow. To be taken from the proper Civil Status Register of his/her own country. If this Certificate is to be issued in the country of the foreigner then it should be certified by the Turkish Consulate or Embassy there or it should have an apostil. It should also be translated into Turkish and notarized, otherwise it will not be valid. The Certificate of Celibacy can also be issued by the Consulate of the country of the foreigner located in Istanbul which has to be certified by the Governor of Istanbul (Istanbul Valiligi). Or if it's issued by the Embassy of the country of the foreigner in Ankara then it has to be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Turkish Republic.
  • Accommodation document. If both partners are foreigners then a letter should be written by the hotel that they're staying in that venue. In this letter, the duration of stay and date of departure will be written.

Source: Turkish Embassy