One of the primary sources of rights in any country is the laws of that country.
Because many of the rights of individuals are specified in the laws of states.
And by referring to the laws, the amount of individual rights can be determined.
Among the laws in every country, there are two, the Constitution and the Civil Code. Which play an exceptional role in preserving the rights of individuals.
The penalty for violating the rights of individuals is mentioned in the Penal Code.
This article attempts to briefly discuss women’s rights in Turkey according to the Turkish Constitution and the Turkish Civil Code.
Because the basic rights of women are defined in the above two laws.
We hope that by reading this article we will be able to answer some issues related to women’s rights in Turkey.
A- Women and civil rights in Turkey
1. Use of civil rights
According to Article 8 of the Turkish Civil Code:
“Everyone has the right to a fair and public trial before an independent and impartial tribunal, to determine his rights and obligations and any criminal charge against him.”
The article does not differentiate between men and women and considers the use of civil rights a right for all members of society.
The power to use rights and duties is also subject to the same provision.
Growth is the main condition for the right to use. (Article 10) and a person is an adult who is 18 years old or married (Article 11).
Accordingly, it is noted that the age of growth for men and women is equal, and the legislator did not distinguish between them.
2. Legal residence
We know that everyone should have legal residency.
Accommodation of children and displaced persons is the place of residence of parents and guardians.
The residence of the spouses who live together is the same as the place of residence of the spouse.
But if the wife lives separately from the husband, she can get separate housing. (Article 21)
3. Marriage age
The age of marriage varies from country to country around the world. The same goes for Turkey.
This is according to Article 88 of Turkey’s Civil Code: “A son cannot be married until he reaches the age of 17, and a daughter cannot be married until he reaches the age of 15.”
Therefore, the marriage age for girls and boys is unequal and differs by two years.
In addition, the governor can allow a 16-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl to marry under exceptional circumstances and for a very important reason. (Article 88)
Read more about marriage in Turkey.
4. Permission to marry
According to Article 90.
In Turkey, a child cannot marry without the consent of a parent or guardian. And the consent of one or both parents is sufficient for the marriage to take place.
5. Marriage of the wife after the death of the husband
In Turkish law, a woman cannot marry after the death of her husband for 300 days, and it is also required in the event of divorce and dissolution of the marriage.
But if the woman gives birth, this period ends immediately.
The ruler can also reduce the period if a divorced couple wants to remarry. (Article 95. Turkey)
As it turns out, in Turkish law, the spouses must also observe the time period in case of recourse, and it is up to the ruler to reduce the said period or not.
6. Annulment of marriage
Polygamy is illegal in Turkish law, so that according to the first paragraph of Article 112, “If one of the parties (male and female) married at the time of marriage, the said marriage is condemned to be void.”
As stated in the second paragraph of the aforementioned article, “If one of the parties was crazy or random at the time of marriage, this marriage is considered void.”
Therefore, according to the civil law in Turkey, polygamy is not allowed, and a man and a woman marry another without respecting the law, their marriage is void and has no legal effect.
Marriage to a crazy person is invalid.
Also, (relative) marriage is considered one of the cases of invalidity of marriage (paragraph 3 of Article 112 of the Constitution of Turkey)
It should be noted that the monogamy law is not enforced in some parts of Turkey.
And because the religious form, according to their opinion, is sufficient for the validity and conduct of the marriage contract (which is called “the imam’s marriage”).
In addition, most people first go to the imam to get married and then go back to the marriage official to register the marriage.
But from the point of view of civil law, for the validity of the marriage, it is sufficient to note the above-mentioned cases and refer to the marriage registry office located in the municipalities.
In the Turkish Civil Code, divorce is not granted without a petition.
Therefore, in order to separate the spouses, both spouses must first file for divorce in court.
In the following cases, either party may file a divorce application with the court:
The act of adultery is one of the reasons for asking for divorce.
Therefore, one of the spouses can petition for separation from his partner on the grounds of adultery.
The right to request divorce from the date of notification of both spouses of adultery, 6 months and in any case from the date of adultery should not exceed 5 years. In the case of amnesty, the case is not heard. (Article 129)
Intent to kill and misconduct
If either spouse intends to kill each other or misbehaves, the aggrieved party can file for divorce in court.
The duration of the lawsuit is six months from the date of notification of the divorce lawsuit and in all cases from the date of the bad intention or behavior, with a maximum of five years. In the case of amnesty, the case is not heard. (Article 130)
Committing a heinous or dishonorable crime to the other party
If either spouse commits a heinous crime or causes disgrace to the other, the aggrieved party can file for divorce. (Article 131)
The abandoning of the family is also a reason to file for divorce.
Therefore, if one of the spouses leaves their home for at least 3 consecutive months with the intention of not fulfilling the marital obligation, the other party can file a divorce application in court.
The court can also give the other party a month to return home upon the aggrieved party’s request.
This warning is made in the form of a notice. If he/she does not return, the court will issue the necessary divorce ruling. (Article 132)
Insanity is also one of the reasons for the right to seek divorce (according to Article 133. Turkey).
If the insanity lasts for three whole years and it becomes unbearable for them to continue living together, the other party can file for divorce.
Break up cohabitation
If the cohabitation is unexpectedly shaken and this situation persists, either of the parties can file for divorce. (Article 134)
First, each of the spouses can file a divorce application in the event of any of the above-mentioned reasons.
And the application for divorce is not limited to the man only, but the woman has this right as well.
Secondly, divorce takes place by order of the court. In addition, the court can, when considering the case, issue a judgment of divorce or separation, which in the case of a judgment of separation (not divorce) this period will be at least one year and a maximum of 3 years.
If the spouses do not contact each other during the mentioned period, the period of separation will end and the spouses will be permanently separated from each other.
8. The personal status of the divorced woman
Divorced women can maintain their personal status after marriage even after divorce.
But she regains her title at the time of celibacy.
If a divorced woman has an interest in maintaining the husband’s surname at the time of marriage and no harm has been done to the husband, the judge can, upon her request, authorize the preservation of the husband’s surname at the time of marriage (the husband’s surname).
If circumstances change, the man can request the above-mentioned permission from the governor. (Article 141)
9. Applying for alimony after divorce
According to Article 144: “If any man or woman suffers from poverty because of the occurrence of divorce and he/she was not grossly negligent in its occurrence, the wife (or husband) can demand maintenance from her husband on a permanent basis as far as he is able.
It is noted that in the Turkish Civil Code, alimony is paid after divorce, not during cohabitation and payment is the responsibility of not only the husband, but also the rich wife, if her husband is incapacitated, who bears his living expenses.
These payments will continue until poverty is eradicated. Increasing and decreasing the amount also requires a court ruling.
10. Rights and duties of spouses
Husbands and wives have rights and responsibilities to each other and to their family members during marriage, which are examined below:
Head of the family
According to Article 152. Turkey:
“The head of the family is the man, and it is up to him to choose the house and provide for the children properly.”
Change the wife’s last name
According to Article 153. Turkey:
“The wife bears the title of her husband. The wife is, as far as possible, the husband’s deputy and advisor to ensure the public good, and the wife is responsible for the house.”
Representation of the family
According to Article 154. Turkey:
“The family is represented by the husband. With regard to the administration of property, although the spouses accept other principles, the husband is personally responsible for their property.”
Article 155 also provides for women. “She has the right to represent the family like her husband to meet the needs of the family.”
However, “if the wife does not do so or does so wrongfully, the husband may withdraw her authority in whole or in part.” (Article 156)
“If the woman objects to this disqualification and the court knows that the disqualification is not justified, it can take the necessary measures to restore this power.” (Article 157)
“If the man does not expressly or implicitly give permission, then the woman may not exceed the authority that she has legally acquired.” (Article 158)
11. Women’s work in Turkey
Article 159 regarding the work of women, was repealed by a decision of the Constitutional Court dated November 29, 1990.
Therefore, there is no special ruling on women’s work, and women, like men, can work in all permitted jobs.
According to Article 160. The wife has jurisdiction, even if the spouses take a different approach to managing their property.
In the event that third parties claim personal property, the husband is obligated to represent the wife.
13. Maintaining family unity
According to Article 161 M: “If one of the spouses fails to perform family duties or exposes the other to danger, embarrassment or loss, the injured party may request the intervention of the ruler.
The Judge also warns the guilty party not to act. “If the aforementioned warning does not work, the judge shall take the measures provided for by law.”
The Peace Courts are competent to hear such cases.
16. The end of the common life
According to Article 162 M: “If each of the spouses is in grave danger from living together in terms of health, reputation and career advancement, he/she may choose a separate residence.
Husbands and wives have the right to live separately when filing for divorce or separation.
“If each of the spouses has a separate right of residence, the judge decides the amount of the partnership, which shall cover the cost of living of the other party.”
15. The husband’s failure to perform the duties of the family
According to Article 163 M: “If the husband neglects his family duties, the manner in which the spouses manage the property in any way obliges the judge to pay all or some of the joint debts.”
Therefore, as long as the husband does not fail to perform the duties of the family, he is responsible for paying the family debts. Because the head of the family is the husband.
But if the woman fails to perform her duties, the judge obliges the woman to pay the debts and perform the duties of the family.
16. Forced execution
Men and women have common responsibilities to each other during their married life.
But these common duties pertain only to family affairs and do not include all human affairs.
Therefore, if during the period of cohabitation each of the spouses forces the other to perform something incompatible with the duties of marriage and the family, the aggrieved party may refer to the judge. (Article 165)
But “if a third party seeks to enforce a judgment against either spouse, the other party can participate in the hedging or bankruptcy of his spouse of his property.” (Article 166)
17. Occupying each other’s property
According to Article 169 M: “Any kind of legal possession is permissible between the spouses, and the husband’s possession of the wife’s money or the legal possession of the two in the joint property is not valid except with the approval of the Magistrate’s Court.”
18. Separation of spouses’ property
“If the spouses do not accept or act in contravention of the principles of property management law during marriage, there will be a separation of property between them.” (Article 170)
“A marriage contract may be concluded before or after marriage.
The spouses are obliged to accept one of the principles mentioned in the Civil Code.
The agreement of the spouses over the management of property cannot prejudice the rights of other persons.” (Article 171)
19. Form of marriage contract
“The marriage contract, its amendment or annulment must be official and signed by the parties and their legal representatives.” (Article 173)
20. Ownership, management and usufruct
Spouses can retain the right to own, manage and use all of their property, which is called property separation.
If the wife leaves the management of her property to her husband, the wife is presumed to have waived the accountability of her husband during the marriage and entrusted to her husband all income and expenses of her property.
The wife can withdraw her right to administer her property granted to her husband whenever she wants, and the right to restore the right of management cannot be forfeited.” (Article 186)
21. Income and profits
According to Article 189 M: “The income and benefits of each spouse belong to them.”
22. Spouse sharing of family expenses
According to Article 190 M: “A man may request that his wife participate in the provision of family expenses in proportion to the case.”
23. Property Sharing
According to Article 191: “The husband and wife can accept the principles of joint ownership in the marriage contract.”
Acceptance of the principles of property-sharing means accepting their right to ownership of joint property.
Therefore, the spouses can seize the property of the spouses as well as their own property from the time of the conclusion of the marriage contract.
This seizure is also responsible. Therefore, rights and duties go hand in hand and the right of possession cannot be accepted without any responsibility towards the spouse (the holder). (Articles 216 and 215)
24. Denying from inherit
According to Article 214 M: “Neither of the spouses can avoid granting the inheritance without the consent of the other during the duration of the marriage.
If one of them refuses to accept one of them, the other party can go to the Magistrate’s Court.”
25. End of Ownership Sharing
Property sharing ends in two ways:
Legitimate division (in the event of the death of either spouse) (Article 221 M).
Splitting the contract (according to the joint contract) (Article 222 M).
In the above case, half of the joint property of each spouse is transferred to the living spouse and the remainder to the heirs of the deceased, which also includes the husband or wife.
26- Renewing the agreement
Spouses can renew their partnership agreement, and they can extend their partnership and liability to their income and interests as well as joint property. (Article 226)
Also, spouses can agree to a limited share of the property, in which case the said share will not be subject to some property, especially immovable property. (Article 232)
Guardianship of Children: In the Turkish Civil Code, a child (a girl and a boy) is under the guardianship of parents at an early age. (Article 292)
Guardianship is also administered jointly as long as the marriage continues, and in case of disagreement, the father’s vote is valid. (Article 293 M)
With the death of one of the spouses, guardianship reverts to the surviving and, in the separation of the two, to the caretaker of the child. (Article 294)
It is the parents’ responsibility to name the child. The child must obey the parents.
Parents are also obligated to raise their children, especially those with disabilities and weak intellectuals. (Article 294)
The religious upbringing of the child is the responsibility of the parents. The adult son/daughter has the freedom to choose his/her religion. (Article 266).
Parents have the right to discipline their children. (Article 267)
The parents represent the child within the confines of their guardianship and do not need a judge’s vote within these limits. (Article 268)
Parents manage their children’s property for as long as their guardianship continues, and they are not obligated to provide an account or guarantee in this regard.
But if the parents do not do their duty, the judge takes the appropriate decision. (Article 278)
The child’s income, in addition to his/her needs, is primarily paid for by the parent responsible for the family’s expenses. (Article 281)
As noted, both men and women share custody of children and there is no difference between the two.
Regarding child support, there is no difference between the parents and it is sufficient to mention a general article. (Article 315 M)
The mother, like the father, participates in the maintenance of the children. Of course this task is the responsibility of the mother if she is able to pay alimony.
There is no difference in inheritance between men and women according to Turkish law.
This is according to explicit Article 439. Turkey: “Children inherit equally.”
Regarding the amount of inheritance for the parents, the Turkish Civil Code does not differentiate between the parents.
Article 440 CE states: “If the deceased has no children, his parents are his heirs.”
If the deceased had no descendants or parents, his heirs shall be his grandparents, and they shall inherit equally. (Article 441)
29. Spouse’s legacy
According to Article 444: “The living spouse inherits from the other deceased spouse in the proportion of the other heirs:
If he inherits with the deceased (the husband), he inherits 14 of the deceased’s money.
If he inherits with the parents of the deceased or their two branches, he inherits the money of the deceased.
If he inherits with the grandparents of the deceased, he inherits 34 of his money.
In the absence of any of them, the deceased inherits all the inheritance.
30. The inheritance of an adopted child
The Turkish Civil Code recognizes adoption.
Therefore, another child can be adopted under certain conditions, and the adopted child and his subordinates inherit from the adoptive parents. According to Article 447 M: “A adopted child is like a real child, they inherit from his adopter.”
31. Government Legacy
According to Article 448 M: “If the deceased has no heir, his money shall go to the state treasury.”
1. In the tenth chapter of Book One of the Turkish Civil Code, entitled Legitimate heir, the deceased inherits the following natural persons and rights:
- 1. First-degree assets (children and their children)
- 2. Parents and the newest
- 3. My grandparents
- 4. Relatives who do not have the correct parentage
- Adopted children
- The government
2. As mentioned in Paragraph 4 of Relatives, persons who do not have a valid lineage have the same right of inheritance as their relatives. (Article 443 M) This provision also applies to adopted children. (Article 447)
3. As noted, the names of brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and their children are not mentioned among the heirs.
Therefore, they do not inherit from the deceased, and if the deceased does not give them money by will or inheritance contract, they will be deprived of the inheritance.
Women’s rights in the constitution in Turkey
Women and equality before the law
The Turkish Constitution considers that everyone is equal in discussing equality before the law, according to Article 10a. Turkey:
“All people are equal before the law, regardless of language, race, color, sex (man or woman) and the like. No person, family, group or class (special) privilege shall be granted…”
Therefore, being a man or a woman does not lead to more privileges and enjoyment of the public rights and utilities of government, and both are equal before the law.
The family and its sanctities
According to Article 20a. Turkey: “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life. The secrets of private and family life are inviolable.”
According to Article 41a. Turkey: “The foundation of society is the family. The government shall take appropriate measures and make necessary arrangements for the well-being and comfort of the family, especially for the support of mothers and children and education for the formation of the family.”
Women and work
According to Article 50. Turkey: “No person shall be employed in a job that is not commensurate with his age, gender and ability.
“Children, women and the physically and mentally disabled are especially protected in terms of working conditions.”
Read move about working in Turkey for women.
1) In the recent amendments to the Turkish Constitution, Article 41 (see paragraph 43) added the phrase “spouses are equal in the family”.
2) In the Turkish Constitution, in the field of constitutional rights, except for the cases mentioned, there is no discrimination between men and women.
Therefore, women, like men, enjoy all public rights. They can also be in government positions.