Our Legal Wedding in Turkey
On the 4th of May Demet and I, Luke, married in Salihli, Turkey. We chose Salihli as this is where Demet’s family are from and we wanted everyone to join.
One of the biggest surprises to me coming from England was that in Turkey both the groom and bride have to have medical tests to ensure they are fit for marriage.
These tests include:
- Blood tests to ensure you are free from any diseases you may transmit
- Blood Type Test. This to ensure that if you are rhesus negative (which may cause issues with child birth) then it is known before marriage so appropriate vaccinations can be given.
- Chest X-Ray. This was to test for Tuberculosis
There were other tests done but these where the main ones I remember!
This was not just special to Demet & I because I am foreign, it is a legal requirement for all marriages.
This was possibly the most stressful part of the whole legal marriage procedures as we went to 5 different doctors/hospitals before one was happy doing the tests on a foreigner with no Turkish ID Number! It took a full day of searching and then just one day to get the results. This was stressful as I only had one week to have these tests and then arrange a date for the wedding and have that wedding! You might be thinking, “Why not arrange the wedding before that week?” good question! However no dates can be set with a registrar until the medical certificate is provided.
The doctor that solved our problem turned out to be a good family friend and was invited to our wedding ceremony in September.
We had to collect numerous documents on the weeks leading to the wedding and on the week itself. These included:
- Affidavit – Luke had to apply for this in England before travelling to Turkey. This was to confirm that he was not married to anyone else and was legally free to marry.
- This had to be in English and Turkish.
- Medical clearance certificates (as listed above)
- This had to be certified by a notary service in Turkey.
- Birth Certificate of Luke
- This had to be translated to Turkish and then notarised to confirm its authenticity. This was done in Turkey.
This was all put together in a day. But involved travelling between the translator, wedding place & notary many times!
Following this, we were able to set a time to be married… The following day! I am lead to believe this is fairly standard practice in Turkey.
The day of our wedding!
On the 4th of May everyone collected suits and prepared hair & make-up to be ready for 4pm. At 4pm we went to the registrar and to my great surprise was greeted by around 40 guests of Demet’s family who had come on less than one day’s notice!
After everyone took there seats Demet & I entered the room and sat a large table on a stage at the front of the room. We were joined by our witnesses who were good friends of Demet. They actually used to be her teacher but have stayed in contact throughout her University up until now. One of the reasons they were our witness was that they have a strong marriage themselves and in Turkish weddings, the witnesses should have a good marriage to bring luck to yours.
Below are photos of the wedding as we each say “I do” and mock sign the registry book.
Just after we said “I do”, Demet stamped on my foot with hers which came as a huge shock to me! This, is tradition (apparently) and means that Demet is the boss. I guess that’s me put in my place!
Following this we greeted the guests and took photos with everyone.