Legal Questions and Answers Frequently Asked By Foreign Women Living In Turkey

Türkiye'de Yaşayan Yabancı Kadınların Sıkça Sorduğu Hukuki Sorular ve Cevapları

Özlem TARTAK – Attorney at Law

Nursima TUNA – Legal Intern

It is difficult to be a woman. It is even more difficult to be a “foreign” woman in a foreign country. In this article, we wanted to touch upon the problems faced by foreign women living in Turkey, especially those who got married in Turkey, and frequently asked questions about this issue. In our article, we will first address the judicial and legal remedies that women who experience domestic violence can apply, and then discuss the process from the establishment of a marriage union to divorce. We wish a world where all women can breathe freely and hope that the information we share will be useful.

WHERE CAN THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE APPLY?

If possible, the closest police officer should be given priority to the victim of domestic violence. Headquarters or Provincial Police Directorates should apply. If the person is located If there is no possibility to leave the place; ALO 155 Police Emergency, ALO 156 Gendarmerie Emergency, Communication Center for Foreigners 157, 112 Emergency Call Center or ALO 183 Social Support Call for help can be made by calling hotline. When ALO 183 line is called, support is provided by the officers such as directing the relevant police unit and, upon request, placing the victim in a women’s shelter. In addition, Arabic calls can be made on ALO 183 and 157 lines.

Within the scope of Law No. 6284, it is obligatory to provide interpreter support for 7 days and 24 hours during the procedures carried out in law enforcement units, judicial authorities, health units and ŞÖNİM for foreign women who are considered to be victims of violence.

In addition, Provincial Directorates of Family and Social Policies, Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centers (ŞÖNİM), Social Policies within the Provincial Directorates of Family and Social Policies Service Centers, public health institutions and hospitals, Gendarmerie Station, Republic Bar Associations and Legal Aid, including Prosecutors’ Offices, Women’s Counseling Centers of Bar Associations Boards, Municipalities’ Application to Women Counseling Centers and Non-Governmental Organizations is possible to apply.

HOW ARE FOREIGNERS EXPOSED TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROTECTED IN TURKISH LAW?

Citizen or foreigner discrimination in the measures to be taken against persons subjected to domestic violence there is no. In Turkish Law, primarily a suspension measure is applied in order to protect the victims of violence. The person can complain or report to the Governorship-District Governorship, Police Station, Gendarmerie Station, Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office or Family Court Judgeship by saying that they have been subjected to violence. This application is free of charge is carried out. Within the scope of the law, the court may decide on a protection measure for a maximum of 6 months to protect the person exposed to violence. In this decision, the current situation and various measures are taken according to the requirements. The most common of these is the prohibition of the perpetrator from approaching the home and the victim. In case of violation of the decision, a prison sentence is foreseen. In addition, those who are subjected to violence on demand it is possible for the person to change his/her identity information and to be placed in a temporary shelter.

In some respects, it may be difficult for foreign women living in Turkey to defend their rights and express themselves to legal authorities. First of all, there may be problems such as language, being unfamiliar with Turkey’s legal system, not knowing their rights and not knowing how to express themselves. Therefore, people who are exposed to violence or under threat should have an idea about what to do in a crisis situation and whom to call she may be advised to share the situation with a relative or friend who can help him in advance and seek support from them in case of a crisis.

HOW IS MARRIAGE DONE IN TURKISH LAW? AN EXISTING MARRIAGE OF THE PERSON TO BE MARRIED WHAT KIND OF PATH SHOULD BE FOLLOWED IF IT HAPPENS?

In order for marriage to be made, first of all, the prospective spouses who have the conditions of marriage a marriage application must be made to the marriage officer of the place where one lives. The application is made together by the prospective spouses. In the marriage of persons as a result of the application If it is determined that there is no problem, an appointment is made for the marriage ceremony.

The marriage ceremony, which is a formal legal procedure, in front of two witnesses and the marriage officer takes place. The marriage officer asks the parties if they want to marry each other. Marriage, as soon as the parties give positive verbal answers it becomes valid as.

One of the conditions for marriage is that the parties are not married. According to Turkish Law, more than one marriage cannot be made. If one of the parties applying for marriage is already married, his application will be rejected. In such a case, the married party first filing for divorce she/he must end his current marriage.

CAN THE OTHER SPOUSE CANCEL THE APPLICATION IF TURKISH CITIZENSHIP IS ACQUIRED BY MARRIAGE OR DURING THE NATURALIZATION APPLICATION PROCESS?

The conditions sought for citizenship to be acquired through marriage are as follows:

– The foreigner must have a marriage with a Turkish citizen for at least 3 years and continue at the time of application.

– Participation of spouses in family unity,

– The foreigner does not act contrary to the marriage union,

– The foreigner does not have a situation that will threaten public security.

If the spouse, who is a Turkish citizen, dies after the date of citizenship application, the condition of “living in family union of the spouses” is not required. In order for the foreign spouse to gain Turkish citizenship, there is no obligation to reside in Turkey. Marriage can also be sustainable anywhere outside of Turkey, and after 3 years, Turkish citizenship can be applied for.

It is not possible to cancel a citizenship acquired by the spouse by meeting these conditions. However, except for the death of the Turkish spouse, the application for citizenship will be rejected if the spouse informs the relevant institution that the above-mentioned conditions are not available before the citizenship application is concluded.

At this point, foreign women living in Turkey often ask that “Can my spouse cancel my citizenship application?”. There may be incidents where foreign spouses are scared of “I will cancel your citizenship application”. We would like to point out that one spouse has the right to request a divorce, but does not have the right to intervene in the other’s application for citizenship or cancel this application. In other words, there may be a legal basis for the spouse to say “I will file a divorce case”, but the claim that “I will cancel the application for citizenship” has no legal basis.

SHOULD THE PERMISSION OF THE OTHER PARENT BE REQUIRED TO TAKE THE CHILDREN ABROAD?

The permission of the other spouse is sought in the removal of the child abroad in cases where the custody right is jointly exercised by both parents. In such a situation, one of the spouses the other spouse must obtain a notarized exit abroad permit. The spouse who has the right of custody alone does not need permission from the other spouse to take the child abroad. However, in practice, some countries require a permit to be obtained when calling from other parents while at the visa stage. For this reason, the country to be traveled this situation must be learned from the consulate.

IS THE RELIGIOUS MARRIAGE THAT CAN BE PROVED IN WRITING VALID? DOES RELIGIOUS MARRIAGE HAVE A PROTECTIVE FEATURE FOR FOREIGN SPOUSE’S RIGHTS?

The marital status gained by asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons in the country of origin or previous habitual residence in accordance with the rules of the relevant country is recognized in Turkey. In some countries, religious marriage is accepted as official marriage. Therefore, Religious marriage performed in the country of origin or in the previous habitual residence, civil marriage in that country in case of acceptance, it will be recognized in Turkey. If the person made a statement to the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management that he was married during registration, even if he could not submit an official document confirming the marriage during registration, other traditional marriage types are also recognized in Turkey. However, in order for marriages made abroad to be valid in Turkey, the marriage must be in accordance with Turkish legislation.

However, there is no official validity of religious marriage in Turkish law. In Turkish Law, marriage is subject to a form condition, therefore, religious marriage does not constitute a valid marriage. Marriage contracts not made in accordance with this form requirement there is no legal validity. Since it is not a legally valid marriage, it is not possible for a person to use the rights they have due to marriage.

WHAT IS THE METHOD OF DIVORCE ACCORDING TO TURKISH LAW?

The court in charge of divorce cases to be filed in Turkey is the Family Court; authorized court According to Article 168 of the Turkish Civil Code (TCC), the spouses the place where they have been sitting together for the last six months before the trial is the court.

Divorce proceedings can take two forms: Contractual divorce and contested divorce. The procedure to be followed regarding the contracted and contentious divorce cases are different from each other. If we briefly explain the differences between these types of divorce: The parties must be married for at least 1 year in order to open a contracted divorce case is required. A contracted divorce protocol has been prepared between the spouses and this protocol must be signed. Both spouses attend the divorce proceedings personally, and they must repeat their divorce decisions before the court. The parties at the hearing if they are not present, divorce cannot be decided.

In the contracted divorce protocol, if there is any, the common children of the parties and the children custody, alimony, compensation, sharing of existing property, return of jewelry and other matters agreed between spouses are included. Protocol is a legal text and its arrangement without legal support may cause loss of rights.

In the contentious divorce case, there is no requirement regarding the duration of the marriage. The spouse who wants to divorce must file for divorce. With the opening of the divorce case, the court will hear both sides on the day of the hearing and ask them to present their evidence will ask. After the parties present their proof of divorce, all the evidence is evaluated and the acceptance or rejection of the divorce is decided.

In both types of divorce cases, a decision is made on joint custody of children and alimony if requested.

WHAT IS THE DIVORCE PROCEDURE IN TURKEY IN TERMS OF FOREIGNERS?

Even if the marriage took place outside of Turkey, it is possible to get a divorce in Turkey. In Turkey to start the divorce proceedings, the marriage must first be registered at the Registry Office must. To file a divorce case of a foreign citizen, the relevant lawsuit application to follow the procedure and apply to a court of law that will decide on divorce is required. The law to be applied regarding the divorce of foreign nationals in Turkey will be determined in accordance with the International Private Law and Procedural Law (MÖHUK). Accordingly, with regard to the divorce case, according to Article 14/1 of MÖHUK, the common national law of the spouses, if there is no common law of residence, Turkish law applies to the reasons for divorce and separation. The determination of the competent court where the divorce case will be filed is regulated in the 40th article of MÖHUK. Accordingly, it has been stated that the international jurisdiction of the Turkish Courts will be determined by the jurisdiction rules of the domestic law. Due to the reference made by MÖHUK to the domestic law, article 168 of the TMK will be applied for the determination of the competent court. However, the spouses living abroad and their residence in Turkey or if there is no settlement, the application of this article will not be possible. In case the spouses do not live in Turkey and one of the spouses is a Turkish citizen, the authorized person the court is determined in accordance with Article 41 of the MÖHUK. According to this, “if the lawsuits regarding the personal status of Turkish citizens are not brought or cannot be opened in the courts of foreign countries, the competent court in Turkey, in case of absence, the place of residence of the concerned person, if he is not resident in Turkey, the court of the last settlement in Turkey, if he is not present, is heard in one of the courts of Ankara, Istanbul or Izmir. ” the competent court must be determined.

In addition; applicable to divorce procedures of asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons

the law is Turkish law. Asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons seeking divorce in Turkey, persons are subject to the provisions of the Turkish Civil Code.

Foreign spouse alimony, custody and divorce after the divorce decision is made terms (protocol), appeal and appeal in order and appeal within the time limit can. While responding to the lawsuit filed against her in matters of custody and divorce, she can claim rights with the counterclaim or open a new lawsuit while the divorce case is ongoing. Also, if the foreign spouse does not want to divorce, the divorce request is unfair and unlawful It can request the rejection of the case filed, provided that it proves that it is.

IS CUSTODY OF CHILDREN GIVEN TO TURKISH PARENTS IN CASE OF DIVORCE?

The nationalities of the parties are not important in giving custody in divorce cases. The “best interests of the child” principle applies to the granting of custody. Custody decision can be made in the divorce case, as well as with the custody case to be opened after the divorce decision is finalized. About custody the age of the child, the social life of the mother and father, the mother and the father’s moral attitudes, financial situation and other issues will be taken into consideration. Also possible the child will be asked about who he/she wants to stay with and all the issues will be evaluated together and a decision will be made about the custody. On the other hand, school age on the grounds that the custody of children before hand is in need of the care and attention of the mother it is often seen that it is given to the mother.

WILL THE ALIMONY AND CUSTODY RIGHT END IF THE DIVORCED FOREIGN PARENT DECIDES TO LEAVE TURKEY?

Alimony and custody can only be changed by court decision. Foreign national if the parent wants to leave Turkey, the party that does not have custody is justified if there is a reason he/she can request the change of custody through lawsuit.

Article 19 of MÖHUK states that alimony requests are subject to the law of habitual residence of the alimony creditor regulates that it is subject. TMK article 175 in divorce in order to be the alimony creditor the condition of being as flawed as the other spouse and falling into poverty through divorce has brought. In the presence of these two conditions, the foreign national may be the alimony creditor has been arranged. In order to abolish alimony, it is possible for the alimony debtor party to prove that these conditions have been eliminated and request the removal of alimony with the lawsuit.

WILL THE FOREIGN SPOUSE LOSE THE RIGHT OF RESIDENCE IN CASE OF A DIVORCE CASE FILED BY A FOREIGN SPOUSE?

Family residence permits have been arranged between the 34th and 37th articles of the Law on Foreigners and International Protection numbered 6458 and in the 30th and 34th articles of the Regulation on the Implementation of the Law on Foreigners and International Protection. Married to a Turkish citizen for at least three years foreigners who have stayed with a residence permit request a short-term residence permit in case of divorce. However, those who prove that they are victims of domestic violence with a court decision, foreigners are not required to have stayed with a family residence permit for at least three years. If people who have resided in Turkey for at least 3 years with a family residence permit are of legal age, their family residence permits can be converted to a short-term residence permit if they request.

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR FOREIGNERS TO GET FREE LEGAL SUPPORT?

Free legal support in cases filed by foreign nationals certain conditions are sought for them to receive. Since the approach of bar associations in different provinces may vary, we recommend that you first call the bar in the province of residence and obtain information on this matter.

Foreign nationals in Turkey to benefit from free legal support called legal aid in cases they have filed to prove that they are partially or completely incapable of paying is required. For this proof, it is sufficient to obtain a document called poverty certificate. For the certificate of poverty, to the headman of the neighborhood where the residence or settlement is affiliated. must be consulted. In order to obtain a poverty certificate, the conditions of not having any social security and not owning a property are sought. After these conditions are determined by the headman, a poverty certificate is issued by the headman.

The second condition required, apart from the poverty certificate, is the condition of reciprocity. Reciprocity in the country where the foreigner requesting legal aid in Turkey is a citizen, the Turkish it is ensured by the fact that its citizens can also benefit from legal aid. In the proof of the reciprocity requirement, bilateral or multilateral international treaties and proof of actual practices showing that this right is granted to Turkish citizens in the relevant country are sufficient.

However, reciprocity is not required for legal aid applications for persons with international protection status who cannot afford lawyers’ fees within the scope of Law No. 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection. Accordingly, refugees, conditional refugees and Foreigners who seek secondary protection are in international protection status. These persons are the same No 1136 in the applications before the judiciary regarding the works and transactions within the scope of the Law advocacy service is provided in accordance with the legal aid provisions of the Attorneyship Law. Accordingly, it is possible for people with international protection status to benefit from free legal aid only with a poverty certificate.

Warning: The information and opinions on this page are for general information and academic contribution purposes. It may not reflect the views of Otto Law and Consultancy. Due to the fact that law is a dynamic field, the information and opinions on the site may be out of date. The articles on the site may not reflect the prevailing doctrine or common judicial practices in that field and may contain the author’s own legal convictions. The information and legal opinions on this site are not legal advice and these contents are not intended to be legal advice. It is recommended to seek professional legal support for specific cases. Otto Law and Consultancy or the author of the relevant article are not responsible for the consequences of applying the information and opinions on the site to concrete events. We present it to your information.

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