Marriage in Turkey

Turkey is a secular country, that means religion and state are separated. What is valid for religion may not be valid for the state. Marriage is one of the points which religion and state think in a different way. The muslim religion accepts that a man can marry more than a woman. The Turkish civil code does not accept it, a man can marry just one woman.

A Turkish man can marry more than a woman if he regards just the muslim religion. He should provide all his wifes the same lifestyle and care. He can not marry more than a woman legally.

The majority of Turkish men are married just with one woman. There are cases which you can find a man living together with more than one wife but this is not common. Since the foundation of the Turkish republic by Ataturk the civil law has been changed and accepted by the population.

Official marriage in turkey

If a man wants to marry a woman, both must prepare all documents to be approved and wait for the wedding day. Foreigners can marry a Turkish man or a woman and also gain a Turkish citizenship if they want and accept it.

Turkish people would rather marry in summer, spring or autumn, but almost never in winter. For the civil marriage there are special places all over the city. In those "marriage offices" in almost every 15 minutes there is a marriage. These places are usually big and located in central districts of the city. There is usually a big ballroom with a lot of chairs for the guests to sit down. In a stage there is a table with 5 chairs. The bride and groom sit together in a corner, two witness from the couple in another one and the judge of civil courts who will marry them in another one. So these 5 persons will be seen in the stage by the audience.

Turkish Gold Coins
Turkish Gold Coins
The bride usually wears a white wedding gown and the groom usually wears a suit. The witnesses and guest are usually well dressed for the occasion. The ceremony is very simple: the judge asks the bride and groom's name, birthday date, place of birth and their father's name, after that he asks if the bride and groom accept to marry each other. After the "yes" there is usually a lot of applause from the audience which gets excited and happy about the event. So the ceremony ends the married couple will go out of the ballroom an the next couple will come in... it is unbelievable how many marriages they make pro day in some districts of Istanbul. Usually weekends are most requested days to get married.

The bride and groom than moved to another room to be congratulated by family and guests. The family usually give as gifts: gold coins, gold jewelry and money as. Gold coins usually have a red ribbon and it is put with a pin over the bride's weeding dress. Money will be also added with a pin. At the end of the greetings the bride will be covered with gold, jewelry and money. The quantity of gold and money will depends on the family's wealthy. The bride usually caries a small bag where she can keep some of the gold, jewelry and money she received.

After the greetings there is usually a party where people will enjoy good food and music. Honeymoon is also an usual event and the bride and groom might go to a beautiful place to celebrate their marriage.


Date:
April 19th, 2002
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