Oya Armutçu – ANKARA
Turkey has witnessed a dramatic rise in its divorce rate over the past 10 years with an increase of 82 percent, according to 2016 figures from the general directorate of criminal records and statistics.
In 2016, a total of 386,550 applications were made to domestic relations courts throughout Turkey. The courts accepted 253,320 of these cases and made final decisions in 198,062 of them in 2016, either accepting or refusing the applicants’ divorce request.
Divorce cases constituted the highest number of lawsuits heard last year in Istanbul, Ankara, and İzmir. Of the total number of lawsuits opened, some 62.3 percent were divorce cases in Istanbul, 48.4 percent were divorce cases in the Aegean province of İzmir, and 47.7 percent were divorce cases in the capital Ankara.
Along with divorce lawsuits, people have also filed a total of 59,797 cases related to divorce such as alimony and custody. The courts agreed to proceed with 47,431 of these cases, accepting the applicants’ request in 58.9 percent of them and rejecting 23.9 percent of them.
Of these divorce-related cases, alimony cases had the highest number from 2006 to 2016, followed by child custody cases. The number of cases regarding the return of personal belongings saw an increase of 16.4 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year. Child custody cases increased by 133.5 percent, cases related to establishing a relationship with the child increased by 11.3 percent, cases regarding the divorced woman’s request to use her husband’s last name increased by 0.2 percent, and divorce cases increased by 20 percent.
The highest increase in the number of cases over the 2006-2016 period was noted in those who applied to the consumer courts. Accordingly, the number of cases carried forward from the previous year saw an increase of 414 percent, newly opened cases increased by 762 percent, and the cases that were reopened despite being dismissed before increased by 162 percent.
According to the figures, land registration courts were the only courts that saw a fall in the number of cases throughout Turkey.