Turkey: Children And Family
High Court refuses to recognise Turkish family court order
October 27, 2014
The High Court has refused to recognise a Turkish family court order, declaring it incompatible with English law.
In AA v TT, the English mother met the Turkish father during a holiday in the country. They began a relationship, and married in September 2000. In November the following year, the couple travelled to England and lived in the home of the mother’s parents in Greater London for more than a year, and it was during this period that their daughter was born. She is now 12 years of age.
At the end of 2002, the couple movpled to a new home nearby with their daughter and the father took British citizenship, while maintaining his Turkish nationality.
In June 2005, the couple had a second child, a boy now aged nine. Just under two years later, their daughter gained a second little brother, born, like his siblings, in England.
In September 2009, the couple returned to Turkey but the relationship broke down. At the High Court, Mr Justice Holman noted “that each makes very considerable allegations of violent and aggressive behaviour against the other. So far as I am aware, there has never been any determination or adjudication as to the truth or otherwise of any of those allegations, whether by a court here or in Turkey.”
Family Law in Turkey
All families in Turkey are registered at the population register. After each change in the structure of a family it is required to be mentioned that to the Turkish authorities.
After getting married in Turkey, you have to notify the population register. In case of a divorce you will nedd a Turkish court decision to notify it at the population register.
If the spouses divorce in other country and they obtain a court decision there, the divorce won’t be recognized in Turkey. You have to start a recognition procedure of foreign divorce cases.
Source: Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – NEW WAYS
The reform of the civil code, for which the women’s movement in Turkey has been lobbying for many years, has been finally accepted by the Turkish Parliament.
The amended civil code scraps the supremacy of men in marriage and allows women to have a say in all matters related to the marriage, thus establishing the equality of men and women in the family. One of the most important changes included in the 1030 amendments to the civil code sees the removal of the clause that defines the man as the head of the family, giving equal status to the woman. The new code also raises the legal age for marriage to 18 both for women and men (which was previously 17 for men and 15 for women). Children born outside marriage will be given the same inheritance rights as others and single parents will be allowed to adopt children.
The most controversial issue of the new civil code was the reform of the clause regulating the matrimonial property. The original draft of the new civil code foresaw that all matrimonial property should be split 50/50. This clause met the strong resistance of the nationalists and the religious conservatives in the parliament, who insisted on the separate property regime, which has been the rule in Turkey since 1926.
Due to a big campaign initiated and coordinated by women’s groups all around the country since the beginning of the year, the nationalists and the religious conservatives were forced to accept the new property regime, which entitles women to an equal share of the assets accumulated during the time of the marriage. However, due to a last minute law formulated by the opposition parties, which will be discussed in the parliament next week, this clause will be valid only for property acquired after Jan. 1, 2003. We, as women’s groups continue to protest this law and are planning to go to the constitutional court in case it is accepted by the parliament.