Following on from yesterday's post about what to do before you leave home, today we're going one step further - what to do when you get to Turkey.
What if you don't have a Certificate of No Impediment?
If you do NOT have a certificate of no impediment from your home country, you will need to stay in Turkey for 21 days prior to your wedding, during which time a notice will be posted in the consulate building. On the 22nd day you will be issued with a certificate of no impediment in Turkish. Check with your British Consulate in Turkey to find out how to acquire this certificate.
Whether you got your certificate in your home country or in Turkey, you’ll need to have it legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara or the Governor in Antalya, Istanbul or Izmir. Make sure you take along all the documentation you used to apply for the certificate – plus your passport, tourist visa and recent passport photos.
Under Turkish Civil Law you are required to undergo a medical examination at a state hospital if you’re intending to marry. There will be a fee, variable from hospital to hospital. You may be asked to take a blood test but this will depend on the region of Turkey you wish to marry in. Take an interpreter or a friend who speaks good Turkish along with you.
Visiting the marriage office
Now you’re ready to apply to your local Turkish marriage office, giving notice of your intention to marry. This application will cost £115 per person and must be paid in Turkish Lira at the current exchange rate. Once again, take all your documentation with you. Once this is completed, you’ll be able to fix a date for your ceremony.
Now onto the part you've been waiting for: the ceremony.
What kind of ceremony should I have?
These are the only legally recognised weddings in Turkey. They will usually be performed by the local registrar and the procedure will take around ten minutes. The ceremony will be conducted in Turkish so you will need a translator on hand. You’ll also need two witnesses – neither of whom can be family members.
Religious ceremonies of any denomination can be performed only after the couple has had a civil ceremony, as a religious ceremony is not legally binding in Turkey. If you’d like to get married via a religious ceremony you may prefer to get married in your home country first.
After the wedding
Once the ceremony has been performed you’ll receive a marriage certificate and a marriage book. Although your marriage is legal in Turkey unfortunately you won’t be able to register it back home until you’ve taken your marriage certificate to the nearest Turkish Consulate to have it translated into English and legalised. The document can then be sent to the General Registrar Office in your country, where it will be kept on file. If you need a copy of your marriage certificate in the future the GRO will issue you with one.