child custody in turkey


Child custody in Turkey, is a legal concept that involves decisions regarding the care and education of a child and how responsibilities will be shared. The issue of custody arises in situations such as divorce, separation, or disagreements between parents.

The decision-making process regarding child custody in Turkey generally includes the following steps:

  • Consensual Custody: Parents can reach an agreement regarding the custody of the child during the process of divorce or separation. In a consensual custody arrangement, parents make joint decisions about the child’s care, education, and other important matters. This agreement is approved by the court and becomes a legal document.
  • Custody through Legal Proceedings: If parents cannot reach an agreement or consensual custody is not deemed appropriate to protect the child’s interests, a custody case can be filed. The court determines which parent will have custody, taking into consideration the best interests of the child.


Under Articles 335-351 of the Turkish Civil Code, the child custody in Turkey may be requested by one or both parents. Child custody in Turkey includes the right to make decisions regarding the child’s health, education, protection, care, and other interests. Both parents can request joint custody of their children.

If the parties have agreed on custody, the judge applies their decision while considering the public interest. If the parties cannot agree on child custody in Turkey, the judge decides on custody by considering the child’s best interests, the parties’ social and economic situations, and special circumstances such as the child’s age and needs. In this case, some criteria for determining child custody in Turkey are taken into account and reports are obtained from social service workers and educators for the evaluation.

Furthermore, the parties can reach a mutual decision regarding custody in the divorce protocol. You can visit our page on “Uncontested Divorce” to get detailed information about uncontested divorce process in Turkey.

Turkish Civil Code; Article 335- A non-adult child is under the guardianship of their mother and father. Guardianship cannot be taken away from the mother and father unless there is a legal reason. Unless the judge deems it necessary to appoint a guardian, adult children who are restricted also remain under the guardianship of their mother and father.


A custody case in Turkey is a legal process where the court makes decisions regarding the sharing of responsibilities for the care, education, and other important matters of a child between parents according to child custody laws in Turkey. It can be initiated as a result of divorce, separation, or disagreements between parents.

Custody cases in Turkey are handled by Family Courts. The party initiating the case is typically the parent requesting custody of the child. The court determines which parent will have custody, taking into consideration the best interests of the child.

The process of filing for a custody case includes the following steps:

  • Petition: To initiate a custody case, a petition is prepared and submitted to the relevant court. The petition includes information about the case, the parties’ identities, the child’s situation, and reasons why custody needs to be changed about child custody laws in Turkey.
  • Hearing: The court sets a hearing date to examine the case and hear the arguments of the parties. The parties and their attorneys present evidence, call witnesses, and present their arguments during the hearing. The court makes its decision while considering the best interests of the child.
  • Decision: After reviewing the custody case, the court announces its decision. The decision specifies which parent will have custody, the child’s relationship with the other parent, conditions regarding the use of custody, and other important matters. The decision is served to the parties, and they are required to comply with it.

In custody cases, the court prioritizes the best interests of the child. Therefore, the court considers the child’s health, education, emotional and social needs, the parents’ ability to care and provide for the child, their communication skills, and other factors.

Custody cases can vary in each situation and may involve more complexity. Therefore, it is important to seek accurate information and consult a family law attorney for guidance regarding custody cases.

joint custody in turkey


Joint Custody is a type of child custody in Turkey. Joint custody in Turkey  is not regulated under the Turkish Civil Code. It is a newly introduced concept to child custody laws in Turkey. When evaluating a joint custody in Turkey, courts apply precedents and customs.

Joint custody in Turkey is granted in accordance with certain conditions specified in the Turkish Civil Code under the regulation of child custody in Turkey. These conditions are as follows:

  • Both parents must request joint custody.
  • Joint custody must be in the best interest of the child.
  • Parents must have a good relationship with each other.
  • Parents must agree on joint custody.
  • Both parents must be qualified to make decisions regarding the child’s care, education, health, and other needs.


It is possible for a parent with custody rights who has child custody in Turkey to take their child abroad without the other parent’s permission. However, it is important to note that the other parent’s right to have personal contact with the child should not be hindered. Even if traveling abroad with child one parent , the visitation schedule set by the court must be respected. Otherwise, the party whose right to personal contact is violated can request the return of the child under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, of which Turkey is a signatory. You can visit our page about Hague Convention about Child Abduction.

In the case of joint custody in Turkey, the other parent’s permission is required to take the child abroad. If the other parent does not give permission, according to the Turkish Civil Code, the parent seeking to take the child abroad can apply to the court. The court will make a decision in the best interest of the child. Additionally, if one parent is taking the child abroad, they must obtain the other parent’s permission.


The enforcement of foreign custody orders in Turkey refers to the process of making a decision given by a court or competent authority in another country valid and enforceable in Turkey. This process may be necessary when a custody decision regarding a child residing in Turkey has been made in a foreign country.

The steps to enforcement of foreign custody orders in Turkey may include the following:

  • Verify the accuracy and validity of the custody decision: The first step is to confirm the validity of the custody decision. This means ensuring that the decision has been issued by a competent court and is valid. Translation of the decision may be required.
  • Prepare a request for recognition: For the recognition process, you need to apply to a competent court in Turkey. You should prepare a request for recognition, along with a copy of the custody decision and other necessary documents.
  • Submit the request to the court: You need to submit the request for recognition to the relevant court. When submitting the request, the required application fees should be paid.
  • Follow the court process: The court will examine your request for enforcement of foreign custody orders and may require the parties to attend hearings. During this process, the court may request any necessary evidence and documents.
  • Court decision: If the court decides that the custody decision should be recognized in Turkey, it will issue a recognition decision. With the recognition decision, the custody decision becomes enforceable in Turkey.

The enforcement process can become more complex if the opposing party objects. The court will evaluate the parties’ arguments and make a decision accordingly.

The process of enforcement of foreign custody orders in Turkey is a legal process, and seeking advice or support from a lawyer can be beneficial. Since each case may be different, it is important to follow local legal rules and consult experts for the most accurate information and guidance.


In Turkey, the party who fails to comply with a custody decision, namely the parent or guardian holding custody rights of the child or the party to whom custody has been granted, may face legal consequences. Some legal consequences that may be imposed on the non-compliant party are as follows:

  • Imprisonment: According to the Turkish Penal Code, a person who fails to comply with a custody decision can be punished with imprisonment. Under this provision, a person who abuses or violates custody rights may be sentenced to imprisonment for a period ranging from six months to three years.
  • Recovery of Child Custody: If the non-compliant party fails to return the child to the party holding custody rights, the court may order the recovery of the child. In such cases, the party holding custody rights can resort to legal measures to reclaim the child.
  • Interim Orders: The court may subject the non-compliant party to interim orders along with criminal sanctions. These interim orders may include temporary changes in custody, taking necessary measures for the forcible return of the child, and implementing protective measures for the child’s well-being.

The implementation of these sanctions and the specific sanction to be used depend on the discretion of the court handling the custody case.

Additionally, the amount of penalty or the nature of the sanctions may vary based on the circumstances and the nature of the violation by the non-compliant party. Therefore, it is important for the parties involved to consult with a lawyer and take the necessary steps during the legal process.


With changes in family structure, the relationships between children and their parents are also affected in situations such as divorce or separation. However, the right to establish personal relationships is an important right for the healthy development of the child. This right entails the parents’ right to have regular and continuous communication with their children, visit them, and maintain their relationships.

In Turkey, the visitation rights are protected by legal regulations such as the Civil Code and the Family Courts Law. This right is generally evaluated based on the best interests of the child in response to the requests of the parent who holds custody of the child after divorce or separation, and it is determined by a court decision.

The right to establish personal relationships is of great importance for the child’s emotional, social, and psychological development. Maintaining connections with parents through regular communication and visitation supports the child’s healthy upbringing and contributes to the creation of a secure and loving environment in their lives.

The court-ordered right to establish personal relationships is arranged according to the child’s age, level of development, and specific needs. Collaboration and flexibility between parents enable the effective exercise of the child’s right to establish personal relationships. This collaboration and flexibility strengthen communication between parents and the child’s bilateral bonds.

The court decision can determine various aspects of the right to establish personal relationships. These decisions may include specifying the days and hours when the child will be together with the other parent, communication methods (such as phone, letters, video calls), and visitation durations. Additionally, in cases of disagreement between parents, arrangements can be made with the assistance of a family counselor or expert appointed by the court.

enforcement of foreign custody orders


Child custody in Turkey is a concept that regulates the rights and responsibilities related to the protection and upbringing of children. Custody is regulated by provisions in the Turkish Civil Code (TCC). The right to custody can belong to the child’s mother and father or to other individuals who request custody.

The process of changing custody refers to altering the existing custody or transferring custody to another person. You need to apply to the court to change custody. Below are general pieces of information about the steps to follow in the process of changing custody:

  • Application: You need to apply to the court to change custody. This application can be made by the person who currently holds custody of the child or by another person who requests custody. The court that the application should be made to is determined by the child’s place of residence or the court where the custody case was initiated.
  • Presentation of Evidence: The person applying for a change in custody should support their request by presenting reasons and evidence to the court. This evidence may be related to the child’s best interests and should aim to prioritize the child’s well-being. Evidence may include witness statements, expert opinions, or documents regarding the child’s health, education, and welfare.
  • Child’s Opinion: If the child has reached a certain level of maturity, the court generally takes their opinion into account. This opinion is evaluated based on the child’s age and maturity, but the child’s best interests are considered.
  • Agreement between Parties: If an agreement is reached between the parties during the process of changing custody, the court may take this agreement into consideration. However, the child’s best interests are always evaluated as a priority, and the court can determine whether the agreement is in line with the child’s best interests.
  • Trial: The case of changing custody usually concludes with a trial process. The court listens to the parties’ arguments, examines the evidence, and makes a decision while considering the child’s best interests. During the trial, the parties can present their defenses and evidence through their lawyers.
  • Court Decision: The court makes a decision regarding the change of custody. The decision should be in accordance with the child’s best interests and comply with the TCC and other relevant legal provisions. The court can determine various arrangements, such as a complete change of custody, joint custody in Turkey, or sole custody, while prioritizing the child’s best interests.


Joint custody in Turkey is one of the most sensitive and complex issues in child custody laws in Turkey. Therefore, it is essential for parents who request joint custody to seek legal support. Legal support for joint custody in Turkey helps parents protect their rights and make more informed decisions about custody matters.

The first thing that lawyers will do regarding joint custody is to analyze the parents’ rights. This analysis begins with identifying the factors that will be considered in determining custody. Lawyers address issues such as the relationship between parents, the child’s living conditions, education, health, and other needs to determine whether joint custody is in the child’s best interest.

Lawyers also inform parents about legal procedures and requirements regarding joint custody in Turkey. They also provide information about potential problems that parents may encounter during the custody determination process. This enables parents to maintain a more conscious and strong stance regarding protecting their rights during the joint custody process.

In addition, lawyers defend the parents’ rights in case the request for joint custody is denied and initiate the necessary legal procedures. To help parents overcome the difficulties they may encounter in custody matters, lawyers suggest alternative dispute resolution methods such as negotiation and mediation.

In conclusion, joint custody is a sensitive issue in family law, and legal support may be necessary. Therefore, it is recommended that parents who request joint custody seek the support of an experienced family law attorney to protect their rights and manage the process more consciously.

You can review our other practice areas here and contact for your legal support request.

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