divorce in turkey


According to the Turkish Civil Code, the concept of family emerges with marriage. Divorce means the termination of the marital union and the formal dissolution of the marriage bond between spouses. In Turkey, divorce is based on the provisions of the Civil Code and Family Law and is subject to certain legal procedures.

The process of divorce in Turkey begins with the filing of a divorce lawsuit. The divorce lawsuit is initiated by applying to the competent Family Courts. The lawsuit includes grounds for divorce, material claims, and issues such as child custody, if applicable.

In order for a divorce lawsuit to be concluded in Turkey, a valid marriage must have been contracted and must still be ongoing at the time of the lawsuit. Divorce in Turkey does not occur through unilateral declaration of will, but rather through a court decision. Both parties can initiate a divorce lawsuit. Divorce can occur due to the fault of one of the parties or without any fault. Furthermore, a divorce case can be either mutual consent or contentious.

Turkish Civil Code; VI. Dissolution of Marriage, Article 166- If the marriage union is fundamentally undermined to the extent that the spouses cannot be expected to maintain a shared life, either spouse may file for divorce. In the cases specified in the above paragraph, if the fault of the plaintiff is more serious, the defendant has the right to object to the lawsuit filed.However, if this objection constitutes an abuse of rights and there is no longer a justifiable interest in protecting the defendant and the children in the continuation of the marriage union, a divorce may be granted.


The general reasons for how to divorce in Turkey are listed in the law. The general reasons for divorce are enumerated in Article 166/3 of the Turkish Civil Code and include:

  • Breakdown of the marriage

In order to base a divorce on this reason, the marriage must have broken down to its foundation, and the common life must have reached a point where it cannot be expected to continue for at least one of the spouses. Furthermore, even if the plaintiff or the defendant does not argue that the marriage is irreparable, the objection must not be accepted.

  • Failure to establish a common life

This reason for divorce in Turkey, regulated in Article 166/4 of the Turkish Civil Code, applies when the lawsuit filed on any divorce grounds has been rejected before, at least 3 years have passed since the decision to reject the divorce request, and the common life has not been established for any reason during this period, requiring one of the spouses to file for divorce.

  • Uncontested divorce

This reason for divorce in Turkey, which is regulated in Article 166/3 of the Turkish Civil Code, refers to uncontested divorce cases. For the case to be considered an uncontested divorce, the marriage must have lasted at least one year, both spouses must apply for divorce together, or the case brought by one party must be accepted by the other party. The judge must hear both parties and approve the agreement.

You can visit our “Divorce Alimony” page for information on the financial consequences of divorce.


The special reasons for how to divorce in Turkey are listed in the law. Special grounds for divorce in Turkey are listed in Articles 161 to 165 of the Turkish Civil Code.

  • Adultery

In order for adultery to be considered a reason for divorce in Turkey, a spouse must have willingly engaged in sexual intercourse outside of marriage and be defective. Having a homosexual relationship with one of the spouses does not qualify as adultery, but it is possible to file a lawsuit based on leading a dishonest life. If one of the spouses has committed adultery, the other spouse must file a lawsuit within 6 months of learning about it, otherwise, the right to litigate will expire within 5 years.

  • Attempt, Abusive or Degrading Behavior

This includes situations where a person shows intention to kill their spouse with certain actions, regardless of whether the action was planned or done in anger. Examples of very bad treatment include beating one’s spouse, assaulting their bodily integrity, or forcing them to have sexual intercourse. Insulting behavior can be verbal, written or offensive. The right to file a lawsuit expires after 6 months or 5 years from the learning of the reason for divorce.

  • Committing a crime and leading a dishonorable life

This is regulated by Article 163 of the Civil Code, which specifies that it only applies to humiliating crimes, such as theft, bankruptcy, and rape. Living a dishonorable life refers to dishonorable behaviors that continue more than once during the marriage, such as alcohol abuse or gambling. When filing for divorce case under this reason, there is no period of disqualification, and the divorce can be filed at any time.

  • Abandonment

According to Article 164 of the Civil Code, if one of the spouses has left the common residence for at least 6 months, and has not returned despite a warning from the judge, the other spouse can file for divorce in Turkey. The judge does not do any research to make a warning, and whether the warning is justified is evaluated during the trial. In order for a divorce case to be filed due to abandonment, 2 months must pass from the notice.

  • Mental illness

This is regulated by Article 165 of the Civil Code. In order for mental illness to be considered as a reason for divorce, it must be present during the marriage, and a medical report must determine that it will not be cured. Additionally, joint life must have become unbearable due to the mental illness.

divorce lawyer in turkey


After the divorce case is concluded in Turkey ( include divorce in Turkey for foreigners), the divorce does not take effect immediately upon the court’s decision. The decision must become final by the completion of the appeals or review process by the parties. Once the court serves the reasoned decision to the parties, if both parties do not file an appeal or review request within the specified period, the divorce decision becomes final.

If the parties do not wish to wait for the specified period, they can submit a petition stating that they waive their right to appeal or review without waiting for the two-week period after receiving the reasoned decision. The divorce decision becomes final upon the registration of the finalization note, and the Family Court notifies the relevant Civil Registry Office.

With the divorce decision, spouses no longer have inheritance rights towards each other. They cannot be each other’s legal heirs. However, testamentary dispositions made in favor of each other after the divorce in Turkey remain valid.

After the divorce case is concluded, various processes and arrangements take place between the couple. The following outlines the main aspects of the post-divorce process:

  • Property Division: With the divorce decision, the division of the assets acquired during the marriage is carried out. This includes the evaluation, distribution, or agreement between the parties regarding movable and immovable properties. If the parties have a disagreement, the court may make a decision regarding property division.
  • Alimony: Following the divorce decision, alimony may be awarded to the financially disadvantaged spouse. Alimony is determined to provide economic support and maintain post-divorce living standards. The amount and duration of alimony are determined based on the parties’ income status, living conditions, and other factors.
  • Child Custody: In the case of divorce, a decision is made regarding the custody of the children. Considering the best interests of the child, custody rights can be arranged as sole custody to the mother, father, or joint custody. The custody decision includes arrangements that meet the child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs.
  • Agreements between Spouses: During the post-divorce process, other issues arising from the separation are addressed between the spouses. These may include communication and visitation arrangements, requests for name change, waiver or agreement of inheritance rights, and other related matters.
  • Implementation of Court Decision: For the implementation of the divorce decision and accompanying arrangements, once the court approves the decision, the parties are required to fulfill the obligations stated in the decision.

This includes carrying out property division in accordance with the court decision, making alimony payments, and complying with the arrangements regarding child custody. In case of divorce in Turkey for foreigners also foreign legal rules should be taken into account.


The principle of divorce as a last resort emphasizes that divorce in Turkey should be considered as a final option in cases of incompatibility and difficulties between couples. Factors that may contribute to divorce include ongoing disagreements, communication problems, infidelity, violence, or divergent life goals.

A divorce case signifies the transition to a new phase after the termination of the marital union. During this process, matters such as property division, child custody, alimony, and similar issues are addressed with the aim of finding a fair resolution.

It should be emphasized that divorce in Turkey should always be considered as a last resort. Alternative methods for resolving relationship problems and maintaining the marital union, such as mediation or therapy, can be attempted before filing for divorce. However, in some cases, divorce may be the most suitable option for the parties to lead healthier and happier lives.

The principle of divorce as a last resort also holds significance from a legal standpoint. Legal systems generally encourage the preservation of the marital union and resolution of issues when considering divorce requests. Therefore, in divorce cases, it is expected that couples first make efforts to save their marriage, explore alternative resolution methods such as counseling or mediation.

The principle of divorce as a last resort emphasizes the obligation of courts to assist couples in resolving their issues, protecting the interests of children, and preserving the integrity of the family unit. However, in some cases, the marriage may become irreparable, and in such instances, courts make divorce decisions while considering the rights of the parties and the best interests of the children.

Within the legal framework, the principle of divorce as a last resort suggests evaluating other alternatives for resolving marital problems and considering divorce in Turkey only as a last option. This aspect will also be taken into consideration in divorce in Turkey for foreigners.


There are two ways how to divorce in Turkey. In Turkey, divorce cases can be categorized as either uncontested  or contested divorce cases.

  • Uncontested Divorce with Agreement Protocol

According to the Turkish Civil Code, divorce can be possible if there is a valid reason. However, if the marital union has become unbearable, the spouses can jointly decide to file for divorce by submitting a divorce agreement protocol.

If there is no disagreement between the parties and the agreement regarding the protocol is established, they can proceed with an uncontested divorce in the presence of a judge. If a divorce agreement protocol is initially submitted but later unresolved issues arise, the case turns into a contested divorce case. The easiest way to divorce in Turkey is uncontested divorce to how to divorce in Turkey.

  • Contested Divorce with Divorce Petition

A contested divorce case takes longer to conclude compared to an uncontested divorce case. It is the second way to divorce in Turkey of how to divorce in Turkey. In situations where the spouses cannot agree on divorce, it is possible to file a contested divorce case based on one of the grounds stipulated in the law by submitting a divorce petition.

If the spouses subsequently reach an agreement on all contentious issues, the case can be converted into an uncontested divorce case. The parties must have reached an agreement on all matters such as child custody, alimony, compensation, etc. Otherwise, the case will continue to be treated as a contested divorce.

The answer of how to divorce in Turkey consists of the following steps and the following provisions are also applicable in divorce in Turkey for foreigners:

  • Application: Filing a divorce petition with the competent and authorized court to initiate the lawsuit.
  • Setting a Trial Date: The court records the divorce petition and notifies the parties of a trial date after the application.
  • Presentation of Allegations: On the trial day, the parties and their divorce lawyers appear in court. The parties present their divorce claims and allegations. The court listens to the parties and evaluates the evidence.
  • Mediation or Settlement Attempts: The court may make efforts to facilitate mediation or settlement between the parties. If there is a dispute between the parties, the court may refer them to a mediation or settlement process.
  • Rendering the Decision: Based on the trial proceedings and evaluation of evidence, the court issues the divorce decision. The decision may address divorce, division of property, alimony, child custody, and other material claims.
  • Appeal Process: After the court decision becomes final, the parties have the right to appeal. The appeal process involves the review of the decision by a higher court.
  • Finalization of the Decision and Execution: Once the appeal process is completed, the decision becomes final, and the divorce process is completed. The divorce becomes official when the finalized decision is registered in the population records. The implementation phase begins for matters such as property division, alimony, and child custody. In case of divorce in Turkey for foreigners also foreign legal rules should be taken into account.


Divorce in Turkey for foreigners follows the same legal procedures as for Turkish citizens. Foreigners residing in Turkey or married to Turkish citizens can initiate the divorce process in Turkish courts.

The applicable law for divorce is generally the Turkish Civil Code. However, in case of divorce in Turkey for foreigners if there is a relevant international agreement or treaty between Turkey and the foreigner’s home country, provisions of that agreement may also apply.

The divorce process typically involves filing a divorce petition with the family court, where issues such as property division, child custody arrangements, and alimony may be addressed. It is advisable to seek the assistance of a divorce lawyer familiar with Turkish family law to navigate the process effectively.

The specific requirements and procedures for divorce in Turkey for foreigners may vary depending on factors such as nationality and residency status. Therefore, seeking detailed information from a divorce lawyer or local court officials is essential to understand the specific implications and requirements in each case.

how to divorce in turkey


If a divorce takes place abroad, it is necessary to file a Recognition of Divorce and Enforcement case in Turkey for the divorce decree to be recognized and valid. Recognition of divorce decree can also be requested in a previously opened case. If the recognition of divorce decree includes provisions such as compensation or alimony, a separate enforcement decision is required.

In the process of recognition of divorce decision, the conditions specified in Article 50 of the International Private Law and Procedure Code (MÖHUK) are examined. This means that the court does not review the substance of the divorce decree for recognition of divorce. The focus is primarily on whether there is a foreign court decision, whether the decision is final according to the laws of the state in which it was made, and whether it relates to a civil matter.

In Turkey, reciprocity is required for the recognition of divorce decision, and the decision should not be contrary to public order. The competent court for recognition of divorce in Turkey is the Civil Court of First Instance. Due to the necessity of conducting international notifications, the process of this case can be complex and time-consuming. Therefore, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a divorce lawyer to prevent any delays.

The recognition of divorce in Turkey refer to the legal procedures required for a divorce decision given in one country to be valid in another country. In Turkey, the following steps are followed for the recognition of divorce decisions:

  • Application: An application must be made to the competent court for the recognition of divorce decree.
  • Submission of Documents: The application should include the original or duly certified copy of the foreign court decision, its translation prepared by a sworn translator, and other necessary documents. Additional evidence supporting the validity of the decision (divorce petition, interim orders, etc.) may also be submitted if necessary.
  • Examination of Evidence: The court examines the recognition of divorce application and the submitted documents, evaluates the conditions of appropriateness and validity of the decision. Additional evidence may be requested or witness statements may be taken if necessary.
  • Compliance with Turkish Family Law and Customs: When evaluating the foreign court decision, the court also considers whether it complies with Turkish Family Law and customs. The decision should not be contrary to Turkish Family Law and customs for recognition of divorce.
  • Issuance of Decision: The court renders a decision on the recognition of divorce decree. If it is determined that the divorce is valid in Turkey, the decision is recognized and enforced.
  • Recognition of Divorce Procedures: The decision rendered by the court needs to be registered in the civil registry for the recognition of divorce decree. Additionally, necessary procedures are carried out for the implementation of matters such as property division, alimony, or child custody.


In divorce cases, the role of a divorce lawyer is significant. The divorce process can be complex and emotionally challenging, involving various legal intricacies. A divorce lawyer provides legal support to the parties involved and assists them from different perspectives.

A divorce lawyer develops legal strategies to protect the rights of the parties and strives to ensure that a fair divorce settlement is possible. This settlement may encompass financial matters, property division, child custody, and other essential issues. While representing the rights and interests of their clients in court, divorce lawyers also offer support and guidance to the parties who are going through an emotionally difficult period.

A divorce lawyer tracks the legal process, prepares necessary documents, presents arguments in court, and advocates for the fair representation of their clients. They can also act as mediators during negotiations between the parties or suggest alternative dispute resolution methods to facilitate reaching a compromise.

The experience and expertise of a divorce lawyer play a crucial role in achieving favorable outcomes for their clients. Making mistakes or having gaps in the legal process can hinder the protection of rights or the attainment of a fair settlement. Therefore, the collaboration and professional guidance of a divorce lawyer are vital in divorce cases to safeguard the best interests of the parties and reach a fair resolution.

In conclusion, during divorce proceedings, a divorce lawyer guides the parties with their legal knowledge and experience, protects their rights, and assists in achieving a fair resolution. The professional assistance of a divorce lawyer is of great importance in coping with the stress and uncertainty that accompany the divorce process specially divorce in Turkey for foreigners.

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