It is a very curious issue whether foreign citizens can file a divorce case in Turkish territory. It is possible for married foreigners to divorce in Turkey if the necessary conditions in Turkish Laws are fulfilled. This issue is regulated in the Law No. 5718 on International Private and Procedural Law. According to Article 42 of the Law on International Private and Procedural Law; “The decision of guardianship, trusteeship, restriction, absence and presumption of death for a foreigner who does not have a place of residence in Turkey shall be given by the court of the place where the person concerned is resident in Turkey, and if he is not a resident, the court of the place where his property is located.” Although the situations listed in this article appear as uncontested judicial proceedings, it is also possible for foreign citizens to apply for divorce in Turkey if they are Turkish residents, provided that the conditions are met.
In case of divorce of foreign citizens in Turkey, there are two options.
1- One of the spouses is a Turkish citizen and the other is a foreign citizen
- If one of the spouses is a Turkish citizen and the other is a foreign citizen, it is possible for the foreign spouse to file a divorce case in their own country, and the Turkish spouse can also file a divorce case in Turkey.
2-Both spouses are foreign nationals living in Turkey
- Foreign nationals have the right to divorce in Turkey if both spouses are foreign nationals living in Turkey. In this case, it is stipulated in Article 4 of the Law on Private International Law and Procedural Law that the law of which country will be adjudicated. According to this; domicile for stateless persons, habitual residence in case of absence, or the law of the state in which it is present at the date of the case, for those who have citizenship of more than one state, Turkish law if they are also Turkish Citizens, for those who have citizenship of more than one state but are not Turkish citizens at the same time, the state law with which they are more closely related is applied.
It is possible to list the other conditions for foreigners to file a divorce case in Turkey as follows:
- The marriage must be registered with the Population Directorate.
- In order for it to be concluded in Turkey and for the Turkish Law to be implemented, at least one of the relevant divorce grounds in the Civil Code must exist.
- It is necessary to follow the relevant case application procedure and apply to the civil court that will decide on the divorce.
- The divorce process must be completed in the family court that will make the decision.