I was browsing a Turkish ex-pat website, and came across these conditions for marriage, which were provided by a firm of Turkish solicitors, for information.
Capacity to marry: Only those persons who have sufficient mental capacity to make fair judgments are allowed to marry. Mental illness is, therefore, a bar to marriage. In addition, a person must have reached the minimum age of 18 to marry.
Absence of consanguinity: Marriage between close relatives is prohibited
Already existing marriage: Monogamy is one of the essential principles of Turkish family law. A second marriage cannot be entered into unless the first is terminated. A divorcee should produce legal documents (i.e.: A Court Sentence about the termination of her/his previous marriage) in order to marry again.
Waiting period: Married women whose marriage has been dissolved cannot marry before the expiration of three hundred (300) days from the date of dissolution. The divorce decree may also state a waiting period within which the guilty spouse may not remarry.
Sickness: Certain sicknesses, such as epilepsy, hysteria, venereal and contagious diseases, constitute a bar to marriage in Turkey.
Only civil marriages performed by authorized marriage officers are allowed in Turkey.
Necessary Documents for Marriage
1. Four (4) copies of the petition of the marriage. To start an action, the groom and the bride must submit a petition of the marriage. This is called Evlenmme Beyannamesi
2. Identification such as: Passport, Identification card or Birth Certificate
3. Health certificate (If demanded by one of the parties)
4. 6 passport size photos of the bride and the groom.
5. Certificate of capacity to Marry. (Single, divorced, widow or widowed) (For foreigners the certificate of no impediment can be obtained from the relevant Embassy or Consulate which then needs to be authenticated by the local Governor office in Turkey.)
The foreigners who reside in Turkey as provided in the Turkish Civil Law
According to Turkish Citizenship Law, marrying a foreigner does not influence the citizenship of the husband. A foreign wife marrying a Turkish husband has the right to choose her own citizenship. But in some exceptions, such as "having no citizenship", the foreigner automatically shall gain Turkish citizenship due to the principle of "having at least one citizenship". Foreign women married to Turkish men are not required to give up their other citizenship.Turkish Laws allow the wife to hold both citizenships implicitly
It brought back memories of the enormous amount of effort involved and the volume of paperwork generated at the time Mr Ayak and I were married just over 11 years ago. The laws regarding marriage have changed a bit since then. For example, I was able to obtain my Turkish citizenship as soon as we had married, but a foreign woman getting married now has to wait three years before she can apply, and then undertake a Turkish language test. Until then she can't use her married name. (Now I state this according to a friend who has recently gained citizenship after waiting three years but I'm not sure whether this has changed...laws here constantly change...you just get used to one law and they move the goalposts)
Blood tests were required to check for diseases that might prevent the marriage going ahead....but it would seem that now this is only required if one party requests it. At the time I was married it was a requirement. The 300 days waiting time for women after a previous marriage is dissolved , is to make sure the woman isn't pregnant from the former husband. In fact, I remember being at the state hospital to have my blood tests and was informed that I should also have a pregnancy test. I insisted this wasn't necessary as I had had a hysterectomy some years before, and stated this clearly, but they still argued the point... I refused of course.
I also waited in a queue for my blood tests (it would appear that all blood tests were taken on a certain day of the week so there were an awful lot of people waiting). When I was almost at the front of the queue, with one person in front of me, I could see where blood was being taken. It was an open cubicle, with blood spattered walls, and the nurse was taking blood from one person after another at a rapid rate, without surgical gloves or washing her hands between patients. I decided not to have the tests done there, so went off to find a private clinic where hygiene standards were considerably higher. This was a particularly poor example of a state hospital by the way...things have vastly improved since then.
It's quite amusing to see that amongst other "sicknesses", hysteria can constitute a bar to marriage in Turkey.
Quite frankly, if you weren't suffering from hysteria at the start of the process leading up to marriage, it was very likely you would be by the time you finished!