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Turkish divorce rates linked to economic problems, research says

ISTANBUL — Daily News with Milliyet | 2/27/2011 12:00:00 AM |

A new study reveals the main reasons why couples divorce in Turkey. The study says women often complain about how their ex-husbands try to interfere in their personal decisions, including their clothing. Economic problems, such as credit cards, and pressure from parents, were also cited as reasons for divorce

Couples who divorce in Turkey cite arguments over money, domestic violence and family disputes as the main reasons behind the decision to go their separate ways, according to a new study published by the Prime Ministry.

The Prime Ministry’s Family and Social Research Directorate recently released a report on reasons behind divorce in Turkey, based on a survey of 1,200 divorcees. The study questioned 657 women and 543 men in 12 cities and was done in 2009 with the authorization of State Minister responsible for women and children Selma Aliye Kavaf. The study found divorces occur most often during the first five years of marriage.

The survey, which was presented to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, found women often complained that their ex-husbands acted differently when around their parents versus when the couple was alone. The report noted that couples usually make the decision to divorce between the first and third year of marriage, and go to the courts to get the divorce granted during the first five years.

The section of the population with the highest divorce rate is those with high school diplomas – 40 percent of marriages for people with high school diplomas end in divorce. Of the survey respondents, 90 percent lived in cities. Over one-third, or 37 percent, of respondents said they had met their former spouses through mutual acquaintances; just 0.3 percent of divorced couples reported meeting on social networking sites on the Internet. Both male and female respondents reported family pressure as an influential factor in the decision to separate. Families often interfered in couples’ relationships in issues related to money problems and family life, the report found.

Of female respondents, 55 percent disclosed that there had been a disagreement between the couple’s families. Women also complained of husbands criticizing their clothing choices; 70 percent cited interference by their husbands as the cause of most fights between them. Of female respondents, 40 percent reported their husbands’ behavior changed markedly when parents or other family members were around, while 36 percent of women and 32 percent of men accused their ex-spouse of humiliating them.

[HH] Drunk husbands bothering wives

Consumption of alcohol was cited by 30 percent of divorced women surveyed as having an impact in their decision to divorce, the report said. Half of the women respondents accused their ex-husbands of negligence and 41 percent said the main reason for their divorce was their husband’s exaggerated interest in his parents and relatives. Some 41 percent of female respondents said they faced pressure from their ex-husbands regarding decisions that only concerned their own life. The survey found 40 percent of respondents fought with their ex-spouses regarding the use of credit cards. According to the survey results, a couple’s likelihood of divorce decreases as the number of children they have increases – 50 percent of respondents involved in the survey had one child, 38 percent had two and 8 percent had three children.

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