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What is the divorce process in Turkey? IN particular, what is the time limit for our client to respond to the petition and what is the process thereafter?

Under article 127 of Turkish Procedural Law the time limit to respond the petition is 2 weeks starting from the notification date of the counter party’s case application. As you informed me over our call, the notification date is 4th of August, 2014 and the final day to submit our answer is 18th of August, 2014.


Same article also states that if the Defendant would apply to the court within this 2 (two) weeks period stating that the preparation of the response is difficult due to Client’s situation (In our case, the Client is foreigner and the habitual residence of her and the children is UK and we need extra time to submit our counter arguments and merits of the case) or any acceptable reason; the Family Court could provide additional time limit to respond to the case not much than 1 month. The decision of time extension should serve to the Parties as soon as possible.


Article 129 of Turkish Procedural Law defines the necessary information which must be submitted with the answer to the case submission and the submission must contain:

a.      The name of the Court and file details;
b.      The name and address details of the Parties;
c.       Defendant’s ID number ;
d.      The details of the Defendant’s Legal Counsel;
e.      The Grounds of Defendant’s answer to the case and related information;
f.       The Evidences of the Defendant’s answer to the case;
g.      Legal grounds of the Defendant’s answer;
h.      The Claim;
i.        The signature of the Defendant’s Legal Counsel.


Article 132 and 133 of Turkish Procedural Law states the conditions of filing counter case against pending file against the Client, according to this article the counter case must be submitted within the time limits of answering the case.


After submitting our answer to the Case the Plaintiff shall need to file the Reply to our submission (rejoinder) within 2 (two) weeks starting from the notification date of our answer.


The Final Submission under the Turkish Procedural Law shall be our answer to the Plaintiff’s rejoinder submission and also this submission (rejoinder) should be done within 2 (two) weeks after the notification date.


After collecting all evidences and submissions filed by the Parties, the Family Court shall invite the Parties to the first hearing (Pre- Examination Hearing) and the litigation part of the case shall continue until the Family Court reaches the final decision.


Finally I would like to point put Turkish Procedure Law Article 103 below mentioned procedures do not stop during the judicial holiday and any petition shall be submitted within the legal time period.


“Cases and affairs to be examined during the judiciary recess period


(1) Only the below mentioned cases and affairs are examined during judiciary recess:

a) Passing sentence on temporary legal protection such as preliminary injunction, provisional attachment, recording of evidence, receiving captain’s protests,  request of average adjuster and cross appeal about these and other applications.

b) Any kind of alimony cases and cases and affairs related to paternity, custody and guardianship

c) Correction of register affairs and cases

ç) Cases sued by employees owing to labor contract and service agreement

d) The demand of lost document due to the loss of commercial register, works of decertification arising from loss of security

e) Affairs and cases related to bankruptcy and composition and reconstruction there by compromise of company with share capital and cooperatives

f) Exploration which is decided to be made on judiciary recess.

g) According to the arbitration provisions, cases and affairs which fall into Court’s area of responsibility.

ğ) Ex parte proceeding affairs.

h) Cases and affairs which are determined as urgent according to the Acts or which are decided by the Court upon the request of one of the parties to be examined as urgent.


(2) In the event that parties agree or if the case is being examining in the absence of a party, upon the request of the other party being present, affairs and cases above may be examined after the judiciary recess period.

(3) During the judiciary recess period, related to the affairs and cases apart from the ones mentioned above, transactions of receiving lawsuit petition, petition of counter action, petition for appeal and rebuttal petitions submitted against to these and petition for renewal of the canceled files and transactions of giving writ, of any kind of notifications, of sending the file to the other court, to regional courts of justice or to the Supreme Court are also made.

(4) Provisions of this Article apply also at regional courts of justice and in the Supreme Court’s examinations.”


Divorce case is not mentioned in Article 103 time period will be prolonged to 08.09.2014.


In accordance with 2nd Circuit of Turkish Supreme Court’s decision dated 22.03.2002 numbered 2002/3275 E., 2002/4157 K. and decision of 2nd Circuit of Turkish Supreme Court dated 28.01.2013, numbered 2012/15593 E., 2013/1955 K.  divorce cases can not be held within judicial holiday.


As per decision of Turkish Supreme Court General Assembly dated 06.12.2006 numbered 2006/2-775 E. , 2006/779 K. even re-filing date of the case will be prolonged after end of the judicial holiday in divorce case.


Also, Turkish Supreme Court General Assembly decided procedures that will be followed in written way do not have to be performed within judicial holiday, with its decision dated 16.03.2012, numbered 2012/4-99 E., 2012/201 K.


However in any case since the issue might be interpreted differently by the Istanbul 6th Family Court Judge, I recommend to request an additional time period to submit the reply petition and counter case petition to be on the safe side.


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