Turkish women gain marriage rights

Posted: 4 December 2001

In an important break-through for women's rights, Turkey's Civil Code has been amended to give women more economic and decision-making rights within marriage.

The Turkish parliament has amended the Code 'to allow women to have a say in all matters related to the marriage,' according to Women for Women's Human Rights (WWHR).

The amended Code removed the provision that 'defines the man as the head ofthe family, giving equal status to the woman'.

It also raised the legal age of marriage of both sexes from 17 to 18 years; previouslythe legal age of marriage was 17 for men and 15 for women.

The Code gives children born outside marriage the same inheritance rights as those born within marriage. Single parents are allowed to adoptchildren.

However, perhaps the most significant change is the reform relating to on matrimonial property. This provides that matrimonial property should besplit equally between the spouses.

However, despite this reformed Civil Code, Turkish women's groups will pursue a campaign to oppose the proposal that the provision on matrimonial property will be valid only from January 2003.

To get copies of the new Turkish Civil Code in English,contact: Women for Women's Human Rights (WWHR) email:

Source:Women Envision (Isis Manila), November 2001

Related link:IPPF