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  • May 2015 : Legalisation of religious marriage in Turkey

On 30 May 2015, Turkey’s Constitutional Court repealed a law which banned celebrating religious marriage before civil marriage. This law, aimed at the outset at protecting women, was regarded as contrary to the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.
The ban, dated back to 1936, was aimed at preventing forced marriages, the marriage of minors and abuses in regions where archaism and the patriarchate dominate. The law also aimed at protecting women’s rights and those of their children who, outside of civil marriage, cannot benefit from inheritances, alimony and other aid which couples united by civil marriage receive. But, by 12 votes against 4, the judges considered that this provision contravened equality before the law, religious freedom and respect for privacy. They highlighted the fact that the legislation did not envisage any sanction for free union, contrary to religious marriage, and identified this as discriminatory.
Associations defending women’s rights fear that this new decision may facilitate forced marriage, the marriage of very young girls and insecurity for women.

Sources : Laïcité-Revue de presse and Le Petit Journal-Istanbul.

D 9 octobre 2018    ANihal Durmaz

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