Life in Turkey

Things to Know About Alimony Issues of Foreigners in Turkey

In recent years, Turkey has been hosting foreign immigrants from different countries, as a result of this situation, foreigners started to face with marriage problems like divorce. Divorce situations and alimony issues are frequently seen in family courts as a result of disputes between couples in marriage. Alimony regulations that apply to Turkish citizens are valid for foreign couples similarly. As a rule, the termination of foreign marriages consists of two stages. The first stage is divorce and the second stage that will validate this divorce decision is recognition and enforcement. In this article we briefly touched upon the legal residence permit and foreigners residing divorce procedure had not yet obtained citizenship in Turkey.

Procedures for Divorcing in Turkey

Firstly, you should take a look at the validity status of legal rules to be applied for foreigners in Turkey. When looking at the Turkish International Private Law Legislation, it says that divorce provisions are subject to the common national law of the spouses. If the spouses have the citizenship of different countries, the law of joint residence, if there is no common habitual residence law, in the absence of this, Turkish law will be applied. Today, many foreigners who have been divorced in Turkey, continues to live in their own countries. In this case, the issue of how to apply divorce regulations and alimony practices of foreigners has become one of the most frequently asked questions. We have to explain this with an example; A French citizen married to a Turkish citizen, in France, they can apply for a divorce case in both Turkey and France if one of them is resident in Turkey. In contentious divorce cases, the competent court is the place of residence of one of the spouses or the court where they have been living together for the last six months before the case, and such a condition is not sought in the contracted divorce practices.

Who can Apply for Alimony?

Alimony regulation is valid for Turkish or foreign spouses in Turkey after divorcing. As a rule, the bride or groom, who is a foreign national, can demand indefinite alimony when divorced from his Turkish spouse and if he falls into poverty after the divorce. According to the new Turkish Civil Code, indefinite poverty alimony is not subject to citizenship. Accordingly, both Turkish citizens or foreign nationals can request alimony indefinitely. In addition, according to the same law, the condition of being the alimony creditor is to be at most as defective in divorce as the other spouse and to fall into poverty by divorce.

Alimony Issues for Spouses who live in Different Countries

As a general rule, if a foreigner divorced in Turkey and if  has alimony, the foreigner continues to take indefinite alimony. For this process, the foreigner’s recognition and enforcement approval in foreigner’s country is required. This approval is kind of like a second divorce confirmation. The same applies to Turkish citizens who are divorced abroad. When such a situation is encountered, foreign spouses can apply to one of the Turkish Consulates in their country and send the court decision in their hands to the Ministry of Justice Foreign Relations and European Union General Directorate Alimony Bureau, and if there is a problem in their alimony receivers, they can request a solution to this situation. Unlike the divorce decision regarding the custody of children, the decisions made by the Turkish courts are final.

If you have any question about divorcing and alimony issues in Turkey, please ask us them on the comments section.

Ata Kurumsal

Ata Institutional Consulting is a leading consultancy company in its field, with expert personnel, with 12 years of experience, providing residence permit, work permit, Turkish citizenship consultancy and corporate consultancy services to foreigners. Ata Instiutional Consultancy


  1. I am married to a Turkish citizen who came to America and we were married in America. My husbands mother came to live with us and 10 days later the mother physically beat me and she was arrested in America. My husband left me after I requested for them to leave my home. My husband did have our American marriage registered in Turkey. I filed for a divorce in America and the judge denied the divorce and he did not give me a legal separation either. The judge just granted me ” What is mine is mine and what is his is his “. My husband has filed for a divorce from me in Turkey I believe but I do not believe that he can file for the divorce in America. I would hope that the divorce in Turkey will not effect the marriage in America. I also would like to keep his last name because I was so use to it and it will cost a lot in America to change it. I am just not clear on the divorce issue in Turkey and how it could ever effect the court decision in America and that we would still be married in America because the American marriage was only registered in Turkey. I am also 70 years old and he is only 39 years old. I feel that he took advantage of me and I spent so much of my money on him. I feel that he should at least pay me back. I am in Turkey now and just waiting to see what will happen next with this guy.

    1. Thank you for your message, Ma’am. I m very sorry about your situation, however we dont have any service in regards of divorce issues or so.. We could only advice you to contact a lawyer in Turkey.

  2. Hi there

    Iam married to a Turkish woman , and I am from Egypt , our marriage because to a point of divorce , we have one kid and I want to take the kid he has the Turkish citizenship and the Egyptian , how will it work , or how can I make it work that I keep my kid I need help and I need a lawyer. Please help

  3. I married in turkey in 2010. My husband, unbeknownst to me, took a second wife and had children with her while I was going and coming to solicitors and court hearings in the uk trying to bring him over. He came in November 2015 after his army service. I found out about the second wife in 2017 and although I tried to make go of the marriage after he said they split up I just couldn’t. The woman was hounding me. I became I’ll and We separated in 2018. He had not divorced me islamicly or legally. I receive government add and my health has deteriorated from stress. He is still in the uk and had since had a third child. What rights, if any, do I have?

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