Legal Requirements For
Getting Married In Turkey

The legal requirements for getting married in Turkey are relatively simple and straight forward.

The following information is intended to be a starting point and guideline only.

Legal Requirements for Getting Married in Turkey

Although much care and effort has been taken to ensure the information provided is correct please do not take it as legal advice. I strongly advise you to consult the Turkish Embassy for first hand information.

Essential Facts

  • A civil ceremony is the only legally binding type of ceremony possible in Turkey
  • There is no minimum residency period
  • Women have to wait 300 days following divorce, annulment or widowhood before being allowed to remarry

Legality of Marriage

Marriages performed in Turkey are internationally recognised and legally binding.

Residency Requirements

There are no minimum residency requirements, providing that you obtain a Certificate of No Impediment from the relevant authority in your country of residence. However, I would suggest arriving at least three working days prior to your proposed wedding date to allow sufficient time for your Certificate of No Impediment and other relevant documents to be translated and authenticated.

If you have not obtained this document then you will be required to be resident in Turkey for 21 days prior to applying for a Certificate of No Impediment, and a further 21 days for the relevant documentation to be issued. Therefore, you will need to allow a minimum of 42 days from the time you apply for the necessary documentation to the day of your wedding ceremony.

Marriage Licence/Application

Foreign nationals wishing to marry in Turkey are required to:

  • Obtain a Certificate of No Impediment (Certificate of Capacity to Marry/Certificate of Celibacy).

    Dependent on your nationality the CNI will be issued in your country of residency and forwarded to you, or sent to the relevant Embassy in Turkey for processing. You will then be required to:
    • If issued in your country of residency - visit their nearest Consulate in person once you are in Turkey to make an application to initiate the formalities, or
    • If processed in Turkey you may provide a letter of authorisation for a third party such as a wedding planner to collect documents on your behalf.
  • The Certificate of No Impediment, Birth Certificate and Passport need to be translated by the relevant authorities and authenticated by the local Governor office in Turkey.

  • The marriage application needs to be made in person at the local marriage office in order to give notice of marriage, submit the certificates, complete necessary forms and fix a date for the marriage ceremony.

  • Solemnization of marriage (if the marrying parties do not speak Turkish, they are advised to arrange for an interpreter to be present during the ceremony).

  • Two Witnesses must be present at the marriage ceremony (note: immediate family members cannot be witnesses).

  • UK nationals should provide notice after their marriage to the local Honorary Consulate who will then send a copy of the marriage registration to your local registry office in the United Kingdom.

Required Documentation

All documentation is required to be original and translated into Turkish by the relevant authorities. It is advisable that your Certificate of No Impediment is not issued more than three months prior to your wedding day.

Please Note: Although for most countries Certificates of No Impediment don't have an expiry date has such, those issued by certain countries are only valid for three months after the date of issue.

The following documentation for both the bride and groom is required to be presented when applying for a marriage licence in Turkey.

  • Certificate of Capacity to Marry/Certificate of No Impediment.
  • Full ten year passport with minimum validity of six months.
  • Full Birth Certificate (showing mother and fathers names).
  • 6 passport colour photographs, taken no more than 1 month prior to travelling to Turkey.
  • If you are divorced - Decree Absolute. *see below
  • If you are widowed - Death Certificate of previous spouse and previous Marriage Certificate. *see below
  • Name Change Deed Poll Certificate - if applicable.
  • Adoption Certificate - if applicable.
  • If you are not of minimum age - letter of consent from a parent or guardian (the legal age of marriage in Turkey for both men and women is 19 years old, but remember you must also meet the minimum age requirements of your country of residency).

*Marriage after Divorce

If a woman has been previously married she must wait three hundred days following divorce, annulment or widowhood before being allowed to remarry.

Medical Examination

Depending on the area in which you are getting married you may be required to have a medical examination and a blood test, prior to the ceremony taking place.

Proof of Stay

You may be required to provide written confirmation by your hotel of your dates of stay.

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 19 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't be entered into unless the first is terminated.
  • Waiting period
    Married women whose marriage has been dissolved cannot marry before the expiration of three hundred days from the date of dissolution.

Type of Ceremony

Civil marriages performed by an authorized marriage officer are the only legally binding type of ceremony. If you would like to have a religious ceremony you must first have a civil ceremony.

Further Information

For further information on the legal requirements for getting married in Turkey please contact the Turkish Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence.

Turkish Embassy in the UK
Tel: (020) 7 393 0202

Turkish Embassy in Ireland
Tel: (01) 614 4590

Turkish Embassy in Australia
Tel: (02) 6 234 0000

Turkish Embassy in New Zealand
Tel:(04) 472 1290

Turkish Embassy in the USA
Tel: (202) 612 6700

Turkish Embassy in Canada
Tel: (613) 244 2470

Turkish Embassy in South Africa
Tel: (012) 342 6053

In addition, contact your country's Embassy in Turkey:

British Embassy in Turkey
Tel: (+90) 312 455 3344

Irish Embassy in Turkey
Tel: (+90) 312-459 1000

Australian Embassy in Turkey
Tel: (+90) 312 459 9500

New Zealand Embassy in Turkey
Tel: (+90) 312 446 3333

American Embassy in Turkey
Tel: (+90) 312 455 5555

Canadian Embassy in Turkey
Tel: (+90) 312 409 2700

South African Embassy in Turkey
Tel: (+90) 312 405 6861

I would highly recommend you employ the services of a Wedding Planner or Turkish Travel Specialist  to help deal with the paperwork and legalities. If you choose to make an application for a wedding  licence yourself, you will need to make provisions to ensure your documentation  is correctly submitted and lodged on time.

Hot Tips

If you are planning your own destination wedding in Turkey but do not feel comfortable arranging the legalities then the perfect option may be a combination of organising it yourself and using a wedding planner.

Many wedding planners in Turkey will happily sort out the paperwork to ensure your marriage is legal and charge you a one-off fee for doing this. You will not be under any obligation to use their services for organising any other part of your wedding.

You will then have the confidence that your marriage will be legal and you can organise the rest of your wedding however you desire.

Legal Requirements for Getting Married in Turkey

Requirements are subject to change in accordance with the laws of Turkey. Information updated as at June 2013



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