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Divorcing in Turkey now easier

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The new procedure came into force this month

New ruling abolishes mandatory court action for overseas separations

Turkish citizens who file for divorce abroad will no longer need to launch separate legal proceedings in Turkey following a new decree that came into force this month.

The decision, which was published under state of emergency rules at the end of April, mean that citizens can apply to end a union that has already been legally dissolved in another country, such as the UK.

It ends a complicated legal process that involves applying to a family court in Turkey even if the marriage has already been legally dissolved.

In future Turkish citizens in such a position will need to apply to the nearest embassy or consulate, much as they would if they were renewing identity papers or completing military service formalities.

Turkish lawyers said the main condition that will be sought is ensuring the foreign country’s divorce laws are in harmony with those of Turkey. That would prevent one person in a marriage to seek a separation in a country where – unlike Turkey – unilateral divorce is legal.