The reasons for divorce in Turkish law are regulated in the Turkish Civil Code as follows:

  • Adultery
  • Offences against life
  • Mistreatment
  • Commiting a crime
  • Abandonment
  • Mental illness
  • Breakdown of marriage
  • Contracted divorce
  • Divorce because of the actual separation.


Adultery is when a married man has sexual intercourse with another woman, or a married woman with another man. Adultery was removed from being a criminal offense in the Turkish Criminal Code, but remains one of the special reasons for divorce. According to Turkish Civil Code, ‘If one of the spouses commits adultery, the other spouse may file for divorce”.

Adultery should also be done intentionally. Unintended sexual relations (threat, algebra, etc.) are not considered adultery. Therefore, rape is not considered adultery. The forgiving party does not have the right to sue.

If one spouse commits against other spouse’s life or behaves badly, the other spouse may file for divorce.  The spouse must bring before the court within 6 months from the date of the about this behavior and in any case within 5 years of the birth of the cause.

Very bad behaviors are actions such as beating her/his partner, torturing, locking her/him in the room or home, insult the spouse’s honor, family and personality, and forcing have abnormal sexual intercourse.

If one of the spouses has committed crimes such as rape, theft, forgery, bribery, smuggling, embezzlement, etc., or if he has a bad life, such as drinking constantly, the other spouse may file for divorce.



If one of the spouses does not return to the common house intently and without a reason, the other spouse has the right to sue for divorce.

Mental illness:

One of the spouses must be mentally ill and this disease should not be able to cure.

Breakdown of marriage:

Apart from these reasons, “If the unity of marriage is shaken from the foundation so that it cannot be expected from each other, each spouse may file for divorce.”

Marriage of spouses who want to get a divorce contractually must have completed 1 year. Spouses who have not completed 1 year cannot divorce under agreement. However, spouses can open a contested divorce.

Actual separation: In case of a divorce case has been filed but rejected, İf the common life has not been re-established after 3 years, the court decides to divorce.

  • The divorce case is filed in the family court where the woman or man lives. It is compulsory to being attend the hearing in the contracted divorce case. However, in divorce cases other than the contracted divorce, the parties do not have to attend the hearing.



In general, contracted lawsuits take approximately 2 or 3 months. On the other hand, contested divorce cases take generally 10 or 12 months.

Divorce is a process consisting of a preliminary examination, hearing witnesses, gathering evidences and presenting declaration. There may also be an appeal process after this stage. The process is completed after the finalization of the decision and its registration to the Directorate of Census.