Getting Married in Turkey: Paperwork and Legal Procedures for Foreigners

Last Updated by Heike on June 21, 2021
Getting married in Turkey

As the world becomes global, more people are choosing mixed marriages. If a foreigner and a Turkish partner want to get married in Turkey, various legal papers are needed to complete the process. The process is not very complicated but has some steps that need to be followed. The most important thing to understand the procedure and to complete it on time.

If you are looking for information about the paperwork and the legal procedure to get married in Turkey as a foreigner, you are at the right place! We have complied important information you need to know on this page.

Please note that this overview does not claim to be complete and that changes are possible at any time. Indeed, Turkey's legislation changes and a new law can appear at any time.

Note: If you are German, please check our article in German about getting married in Turkey to a Turkish citizen, as a German.

Getting Maried in Antalya in Turkey

Paperwork to Get Married in Turkey as a Foreigner 

First of all, we recommend asking the Turkish registry office if you need more details about your unique situation. However, as a standard procedure, here are the documents that you will be asked to provide.

Paperwork Needed From the Turkish Partner:

  • Turkish identity card 
  • Copy of the identity card with picture
  • Excerpt from the personal status register
  • Registration certificate
  • 5 passport photos, not older than 6 months
  • Health certificate, issued by a state hospital in Turkey

Paperwork Needed From the Foreign Partner:

  • Notarized translation of the passport
  • 5 passport photos, not older than 6 months
  • Health certificate, issued by a state hospital in Turkey
  • International certificate of no impediment to marriage, issued by the local registry office in the country of the foreign partner

If the foreign partner does not speak Turkish, the presence of a certified translator is required.

Important Note: These documents can usually all be provided without any problems, but a certain lead-time should be expected with the authorities in both countries. Obtaining the international certificate of no impediment to marriage takes a little longer. Let's explain what it is exactly and how to get it.

International Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage

The international certificate of no impediment to marriage must be applied for in writing at the registry office in the foreign partner's place of residence using a form. If the foreign partner no longer lives in his/her country, the registry office of the last place of residence is responsible. 

Please ask the registry office responsible for you which documents, in detail, have to be attached to this application. In a standard procedure, the following documents are required: (please note that the list does not claim to be complete and changes are possible at any time)

Documents Required From the Foreign Partner:

  • Birth certificate, certificate of descent, or certified copy or excerpt from the family register of the parents
  • Proof of citizenship in the form of a certified photocopy of the passport
  • Proof of the last place of residence by the registration office
  • Confirmation of marital status information by the registration office

Documents Required From the Turkish Partner:

  • Birth certificate (Form A)
  • Passport or copy of identity card (certified)
  • Registration certificate extract from the civil status register
  • In the case of previous marriage: proof of dissolution (divorce decree, if necessary with recognition decree/notice)

Please note that all documents must be translated into Turkish by a certified translator. 

In addition, after the translation, both the registration certificate and the extract from the civil status register must be provided with an apostille from the Turkish authorities. If a divorce decree from a previous marriage is available, this must also be provided with an apostille.

Important Note: Be aware that it's not possible to issue an international certificate of no impediment on short notice, a processing time of at least 2-6 weeks should be expected. Detailed information can be provided by the registry office responsible for you.

Conceptual photograph of marriage in Turkey

Health Certificate

The registry office responsible for you will tell you exactly which tests must be included on the health certificate. Please inquire before having the tests done, as there may be some variances. However, the following are usually required:

  • X-ray of the lungs
  • Determination of blood group
  • Hepatitis
  • Syphilis
  • AIDS
  • Mediterranean anemia (not applicable for persons over 50 years of age)

By law, syphilis, gonorrhea, chancroid, leprosy, and tuberculosis are considered marriage impediments and no health certificate will be issued.

No matter where and in which hospital you have the tests done, the health certificate must be signed and certified by the "Aile Hekim", the family doctor responsible for you. Therefore, it's recommended that you contact your family doctor first, before you start taking the required tests. The health certificate is valid for 6 months.

Important Note: After you have obtained all the necessary documents, nothing else can stop you from getting married and you can apply for a date at the Turkish registry office. Both partners have to be present to apply for a date at the city hall. There, you will fill out a form and learn about the possible dates.

Witnesses at a Turkish Wedding

Now that you have the date set up, it's time for the fun part to begin, like choosing the witnesses for your wedding! But, what is the legal requirement for witnesses in Turkey? Well, it's very easy, you will need a minimum of 2 witnesses and a maximum of 4 witnesses for the wedding ceremony in Turkey, who must identify themselves with their identity card or passport. The witnesses must be over 18 years old and they must know the couple. Witnesses can be foreigners.

Important Note: Please note that in certain registry offices, the parents of the couple are not accepted as witnesses OR they will be secondary witnesses to other official witnesses. Also, some offices allow more than 4 witnesses, please ask the office when filling out your form.

Marriage in the registry office in Turkey

Marriage in the Registry Office in Turkey

The wedding ceremony in the Turkish registry office is quite fast, because there is usually a big rush and the appointments are quite close to each other. It's customary for the bride to come to the registry office in her wedding dress. The ceremony itself lasts no longer than 10 minutes.

Afterwards, the couple lines up at the registry office in front of the wedding hall to receive congratulations and gifts in the form of money or gold and to take pictures with the guests.

Some couples choose to only get married in the registry office without a ceremony afterwards. In that case, the time outside of the city hall will be longer in order for everybody to congratulate the couple. However, if the marriage is followed by a celebration, the couple will quickly wrap it up and go for pictures before the celebration starts.

Important Note: Some guests will attend only the marriage in the registry office, therefore, they will want to see the couple to congratulate them and give them a gift before they leave. But the other guests who will attend the celebration, will not give their gifts at that moment, they will wait for the celebration.

Certificate of Marriage

Immediately after the wedding ceremony, the registry office issues the "aile cüzdanı", the international family book. The red booklet, in DIN A 5 format, is the official proof that you are now married. It's issued on the basis of the 15th CIEC Convention of 1974. 

However, it's not recognized in this form in foreign countries. To get your marriage validated in your country, please obtain an international marriage certificate, "Evlenme Kayıt Örneği Formül B", from the civil registry office. Then, ask your country's consulate the procedure to get your marriage recognized in your country of birth.

Registration of Marriage in Germany

Marriages that have taken place in Turkey before a Turkish registrar are recognized in Germany. There is no obligation to have the marriage subsequently certified in Germany.

However, if you wish, you can have your marriage recorded in the German marriage register and then have a German marriage certificate issued. Further information on this can be obtained from the consulates abroad.

Name Declaration After Marriage in Turkey

In Turkey, a woman must take her husband's surname when they get married, but may also use her birth surname in front of her husband's surname by making an application to the marriage officer or later to the registration office. 

To be more precise, in front of the Turkish registrar the couple will make a name declaration, which certifies which surname the couple will use after the wedding. However, these name declarations are not recognized by the country of birth of the foreign partner.

If one wants to apply for a passport with the new surname, they should first submit a name declaration at their foreign consulate. To do this, they will need an online appointment and the personal appearance of both spouses is required. 

Among other things, proof of identity such as passports, the international marriage certificate "Evlenme Kayıt Örneği Formül B", birth certificates, and an extract from the civil status register with all explanations, including the citizenship "Nüfus Kayıt Örneği -Tam Tekmil ve Vukuatlı" will be asked. Please inquire in advance if any other documents are required. 

This declaration will then be forwarded to the registry office in the foreign country. As soon as the confirmation of receipt has been received from the foreign consulate in Turkey, a passport with the new name can be issued. 

Residence in Turkey After Marriage

Now that you are married and wish to live in Turkey, you will need a residence permit for Turkey. You have to apply for it and will get it without problems because of your marriage.

However, please note that a residence permit does not include a work permit in Turkey. The work permit must be applied separately and usually through the company that would like to employ you. 

However, since the laws in this regard are subject to constant change and are very diverse in their structure and interpretation, it would exceed the scope of this article to go into detail. Our recommendation is to contact the foreigners authority responsible for you in Turkey and obtain detailed information from them.

Important Note: There are also companies that offer relocation services and can help you in this area. Due to these companies' many years of experience, you can often get your affairs settled faster and, in any case, it's more convenient and practical than doing everything yourself. Of course, there are different fees for these services.

Acquisition of Citizenship by Marriage

According to the latest legislation, neither under Turkish nor under foreign law, the citizenship of the partner is acquired automatically by marriage, but can be applied for after marriage under certain conditions. 

Since this is a procedure with a lot of details and many aspects have to be taken into account and can be subject to changes at any time due to new legislation. It would exceed the scope of this page to go into more detail. Our recommendation is to contact the authority responsible for you and obtain detailed and up-to-date information there.

If you are German and want to know more about this topic and the Retention Permit “Beibehaltungsgenehmigung”, please check our article in German about marriage as a German in Turkey.

Do you have questions about this topic? Don't hesitate to ask us in the comments below. If you have experience getting married in Turkey as a foreigner, please share your experience in the comments below to let us know how it went and to help other readers!

For exceptional ideas for your wedding ceremony, check out our list with creative and unique ideas for amazing wedding in Turkey.

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If you are looking for support in organizing your wedding or celebration in Turkey, ask us for a free quote! Also, have a look at our page on organization services in Turkey.

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