Getting Married in Turkey as Foreigners: Paperwork, Legal Procedures, Civil Marriage

Getting married in Turkey

As the world becomes global, more people are choosing mixed marriages. In general, getting married in Turkey as foreigners is quite a lengthy and difficult process, requiring many different formalities and procedures. However, that doesn't stop people from all over the world to have their civil marriage and wedding ceremony in Istanbul in Turkey.

If you are looking for information and support from local experts about the paperwork and the legal procedure to get married in Turkey as foreigners, then read this guide. Here, we have complied important information you need to know. 

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. In addition, as you probably know, the legal procedures and paperwork required vary depending on your nationality. For this reason, please get help by filling out this form.

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

Also Read: The ultimate guide to weddings in Turkey

Getting Maried in Antalya in Turkey

1. How can foreigners get a civil marriage in Turkey?

Here are some of the most important questions answered on how foreigners can get a civil marriage in Turkey:

How long is the civil marriage?

The civil ceremony will take only a few minutes, just the signature, as you guess. The official comes and ask some specific questions, check the documents, and declare that you will be married legally.

Do I have to do a Ceremony? 

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.

How long do I have to be in Istanbul/ Turkey for my civil marriage?

You have to be in Istanbul 7 - 10 days before the civil marriage for a health report, consulate appointment, and other documentation.

Conceptual photograph of marriage in Turkey

Our Civil Marriage Offer

We have a civil marriage package for you: No need to think about anything, we organize everything you need!

What is included in our civil marriage offer? 

  • We do all documentation, applications, translations, paperwork, notary, etc.
  • We can arrange the civil ceremony in a municipality's wedding hall or in a private location you choose.
  • With us, you will get the international wedding certification the same day instead of 10 days later!

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2. Paperwork to Get Married in Turkey as Foreigners 

First of all, we recommend asking the Turkish registry office if you need more details about your unique situation. To make a request, contact our team of experts for customised support.

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.

For the initial application for your civil marriage, you need:

  • Your ID or Passports (If you are represented by us, we need your scanned passports and a letter that we represent you for marriage applications. We will send you a copy of this letter)
  • Certificate of celibacy (you will get it from your consulate in Istanbul)
  • 6 photos (any size will be fine, passport size, biometric …)
  • Health report (you will get it in Turkey, if you are represented by us, then we will arrange it for you)
  • Accommodation letter (you will get it from the hotel/hostel you accommodate during your stay) 

3. Witnesses at the Civil 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 civil 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

4. Certificate of Marriage

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. 

Please note that the "aile cüzdanı" is 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.

When do I get my Certificate of Marriage?

Normally, they send it to your address 10 days later. However, if you make use of our civil marriage offer mentioned above, you will get your international wedding certificate on the same dayas we arrange that for you.

5. 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.

Rustic style weddings in Turkey

6. Name Declaration After Marriage in Turkey

What happens to a woman's surname when she gets married 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.

Are these name declarations recognized by the foreign partner's country of birth?

No, 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. 

What documents are required for this name declaration at the foreign consulate?

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. It is recommended to inquire in advance if any other documents are required. 

What happens after the name declaration is submitted to the foreign consulate?

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. 

7. 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.

Wedding Fireworks in Turkey

8. 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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