Amendments on the Law on the Civil Registration Services with respect to Divorce Decree Recognition via Decree-Law No.690

An important amendment was made on the Law on the Civil Registration Services No.5490 (“Law”) by the Decree-Law No.690 which was published in the Official Gazette dated 29.04.2017 and numbered 30052. With the article 27/A which was added to the Law, the foreign decisions on divorce and annulment, nullity or existence of marriage may be registered in the register of persons if the necessary conditions are fulfilled and the parties apply jointly. Accordingly, the decisions may be registered without the necessity of filing a lawsuit for recognition.

The Ministry will determine the details of the Article’s application via a Regulation. The Article 27/A added to the Law is as follows:

 “Registration of divorce decrees given by foreign judicial or administrative authorities

ARTICLE 27/A – (1) The foreign decisions pertaining to divorce, annulment, nullity, or existence of marriage shall be registered in the registry of persons provided that the decision is given by the legally competent judicial or administrative authority and became finalized procedurally and it is not explicitly contrary to the Turkish public order.

(2) The registration procedures shall be undertaken by the foreign representative offices where the decision was given or the civil registration offices determined by the Ministry in the country.

(3) The recognition of registration requests which are declined due to not fulfilling the conditions set out in this Article shall be undertaken as per the International Private and Procedural Law No.5718 and dated 27/11/2007.

(4) The procedures and principles regarding the enforcement of this Article shall be determined via a Regulation by the Ministry.”

Registration Requirements

As per the Article 27/A, the foreign decisions pertaining to divorce, annulment, nullity, or existence of marriage shall be registered in the registry of persons if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  1. the decision is given by the legally competent judicial or administrative authority and became finalized procedurally and
  2. it is not explicitly contrary to the Turkish public order,
  3. the parties apply together in person or through their attorneys.

Therefore the decision is given by a legally competent authority and becoming finalized procedurally is the first condition that is sought. The procedural finalization shall be determined by the applicable laws where the decision was given and the decision should bear this finalization.

As being contrary to public order is a broad concept, the decision should be reviewed carefully and with due care within this scope. For instance, breach of the right of defense of the respondent (spouse) during litigation is considered against the public order during the lawsuits filed for recognition of divorce decisions.

It is not clear whether an application can be made as per Article 27/A in case the decision include an aspect such as child support, custody which requires filing a case for enforcement of the decision.

The parties shall apply jointly either in person or via attorneys.

Registration Authority

As per Article 27/A, the registration procedure will be conducted by the foreign representative offices where the decision was given or the civil registration offices determined by the Ministry in the country. The Ministry has not declared the authorized civil registration offices yet.

Rejection of Registration Application

If the registration application is rejected, one of the parties may request registration of the decision by filing lawsuit for recognition of the decision in Turkey. You may review our article via the link below for detailed information about recognition of divorce decisions.

Recognition of Foreign Court Decrees

 Regulation

The principles and procedures of application of Article 27/A are regulated by a regulation which entered into effect recently. You may contact us at info@engblaw.com for detailed information regarding the applications.