Civil Marriage in Turkey – how to solve the formalities?


Thanks to Turkey’s participation in Erasmus and other exchange programmes, there are more and more Turks staying in long-term relationships with foreign partners. Many of them end up with marriage proposals. The weather, cuisine and variety of stunning landscapes make fiancees choose Turkey as their wedding venue. Although the choice was easy, the formalities seem to be more difficult than anywhere in Europe.

However, the situation isn’t as black as it’s painted. It’s just the matter of organisation. Now I’m going to tell you how to solve the whole paperwork in less than three weeks.

1) Turkish Fiancee: go to the chosen marriage department (tur. Evlendirme Dairesi) and ask for the list of necessary documents

         Although there’s an universal list of documents required in every office in Turkey (such as your birth certificates, certificate of marital status/ certificate of no impediment to marriage abroad and their sworn translations into Turkish, passport, ID card, medical reports), you shouldn’t trust the advice of other newlyweds. Why? Because some documents will be unnecessary in the office A, but they will be required in the office B. That’s why it’s important to get a list from the specific marriage department. The same marriage department must direct you to the clinics, you’ll have your medical examinations later.

         Taking the list, ask for your birth certificate and martial status certificate. Because in many countries the registry office requires them to give certificate of no impediment to marriage abroad to your foreign fiancee. The good example is Poland.

         Another confusing thing: Turkey has signed the agreement exempting from the obligation to legalize foreign official documents with numerous European countries… However, registry offices still require apostille certificates. I’ll write more about it in a separate paragraph. 

    2) Foreign Fiancee: translations, documentation and Apostille in your motherland

          When you get the birth certificate and certificate of marital status from your fiancee, you need to use the services of certified translator for Turkish language (many European countries don’t accept translations from abroad) and then go to your local registry office. You should be given the certificate of no impediment to marriage. You can obviously ask for your birth certificate (preferably international version), but mostly its data can be found on the mentioned approval to get married abroad.

          Funny thing: If your motherland requires the certificate of martial status from your future spouse, you won’t find the word BEKAR (in Turkish: single) on this document. Instead you’ll give to translator the paper saying, that your Turkish fiancee doesn’t have any impediment to marriage… Yes, that’s exactly the same type of document you’ll need to bring to the Turkish Marriage Department!

          If you have enough time to your departure, you need to bring your papers taken from the registry office to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and get Apostille for each document (you can obviously obtain it by post, but it takes longer). I skipped this part and solved the legalization in Turkey…

    3) Foreign Fiancee: Sworn translations at the consulate and legalizations in Turkey

            First of all, make sure, if you need to schedule the appointment at your consulate (three years ago, I could just walk in Polish consulate, but since last year we all need to plan our visit there).

            During your visit there, you can bring your prepared documents for the sworn translation. The service should last from 2 up to 5 business days. If you didn’t manage to take Apostille in your homeland, the consulate should give you the address to the legalization office in Turkey.

           If you couldn’t go to your motherland to take necessary documents, you can request consulate to prepare them with Turkish translations. This procedure takes a bit longer and the fee is obviously higher. 

             Before your arrival, ask your diplomatic institution about the way you can pay for the service. For example, Polish consulate accepted only cash in American dollars.

           By the way, although the data in passports is translated into English, Evlendirme Dairesi requires the Turkish translation of the first page. We solved this thing at random translation office and the service lasted around half an hour.

      4) Both Fiancees: Photos

              While solving your paperwork, go to your favourite photographer and take at six 2×2 inches photos per person (they don’t have to be biometric).  One photo is needed for the medical records I’ll write about in the next paragraph. The rest of them you must give to your Evlendirme Dairesi. One of the needed pictures you will see in the family registry book called Aile Cuzdanı. You will find there your international marriage certificate. You can add birth certificates of your future children as well.

        5) Medical examination.

                As I’ve mentioned before, your chosen marriage department needs to direct you to the clinic you’ll get through medical check up in. Without health report, you can’t schedule your marriage ceremony. Many couples complain about this obligation, but I think, if your partner suffers from some diseases, you’d prefer to know it before you say final YES (or „Evet”), right? Furthermore, for some people it’s the only motivation to make sure about their health. 

                What medical tests do you need to take? First one is blood analysis for blood group, but also for HIV, Hepatitis B&C, venereal diseases (such as Syphilis) and other communicable sicknesses. One of your photos will be attached to the results. Another test is chest X-ray. Although many websites mention only about blood check up, our marriage department required us the visit at the radiologist as well. The results are saved both on paper and the CD.

              The fees differ according to the location, but we didn’t pay anything for this service.

          6) Done with formalities?

                 Now you can fill the form at the marriage department and schedule the date of your ceremony! You can get married even next week after submitting your application.

            Got lost in the organization?

            Check our venues and services in Turkey here:


            Author: Ilona Güllü

            Galeria zdjęć