ECONOMICS > One-wife rule hits Arab homeowners in Turkey

Gülistan Alagöz ISTANBUL - Hürriyet

Print Page Send to friend »
Some Arabs want to bring all of their wives to Turkey after buying a house here, but the Turkish authorities only give a residence permit to one wife.

Some Arabs want to bring all of their wives to Turkey after buying a house here, but the Turkish authorities only give a residence permit to one wife.

Polygamous Arab men have been attempting to bring all four of their wives to Turkey after buying a house in the country, giving a headache to the Turkish authorities, which can only give a residence permit to one wife.

The Ministry of Environment and Urban Affairs are now reported to be working on a new regulation to resolve this issue, upon demands from Arabs. 

“Many Arab men say they want to buy house in Turkey, but also ask for help from us to bring all of their wives,” said the chairman of Demir Construction, Hamit Demir. 

“The existing law in Turkey, which only offers work permits to only one wife for foreigners, discourages many Arabs from buying houses in Turkish cities,” Demir added. 

The demand has been rising for estate in Turkey among Arabs, specifically after the Reciprocity Law went into effect, increasing the minimum residence permit for foreigners to one year from three months.

Polygamous Arabs are, however, having difficulties in obtaining residence permits for all of their wives in Turkey, where polygamy is not legal. 

According to the existing law, foreigners must apply once a year to get the temporary permit for eight years. Then they are able to apply for a permanent residence permit only after eight years of their residence in Turkey. This is also the case for their (one) spouse.
Saudi Arabians most prominent 

Saudi Arabians in particular want to bring all of their wives to Turkey, sector representatives said, adding that such demands are on the rise. Saudis ranked top of the list of the Arabs who bought houses in Turkey in the first 10 months of the year, with approximately 773 properties sold to Saudis. They were followed by Iraqis, Kuwaitis, UAE citizens and Jordanians. 

Overall, around 15,000 foreigners acquired 21,691 houses in Turkey in the first 10 months of the year. The highest demand came from Russia, Germany and Britain, but sales to Arabs will surpass all others when the latest sales are officially declared, according to sector representatives. 

“I believe Arabs should not have a problem in coming to Turkey,” said the chairman of Ağaoğlu Group, Ali Ağaoğlu, who has sold over $800 million worth of real estate to foreigners up to now. 

Such an easing in procedures could, however, disturb Turkish people, according to Ferhat Bakgör, chairman of Bak Construction, which develops property projects in Istanbul for rich Arabic families.
“Turkish people have not yet become comfortable with living with Arab people in same apartment blocks. They will feel worse if Arab men come to Turkey to live with their all wives,” he said.


PRINTER FRIENDLY Send to friend »


Notice on comments

Roxy R

12/15/2013 3:00:56 PM

hanni bal, you are talking from a religious perspective. Try approaching the matter from the humanist/secular one. Otherwise some people will not understand what you are saying. Don't bring God to the equation because some people have other views.

hanni bal

12/14/2013 12:48:48 PM

@Baris, do we have to question and contradict God's wisdom and perfection or do we have to pass and vote it in the parliamentary to cater our human needs & desire without reference in a higher form of knowledge?who is wrong in this way?

Brit in Turkey

12/13/2013 2:58:44 PM

Halil Ibrahim: Apology accepted. I agree it is often difficult to express oneself in 500 characters! Incidentally India was one of the British Empire's successes.

Halil Ibrahim

12/13/2013 12:15:24 AM

@Brit in Turkey Hey India just launched a Mars Mission, I guess if you had to chose between colonialism and Islamism, colonialism seems like a walk in the park. Regardless, I don't see any Turkish space initiatives their too busy contemplating polygamy and bringing back the "hijab".

Halil Ibrahim

12/12/2013 11:27:58 PM

@Brit in Turkey Apologies, the 500 character limit made it tough to explain, I was not implying you said that, I meant to say the other comments were requesting support for polygamy. My whole comment was poorly worded, I am not saying it's bad to leave a career and care for kids, I am just saying rearing children is work, its unpaid, its thankless and on top of this to have the Turkish government sanctify the act of being married like cattle, 4 in a barn, it's just shameless debauchery.

Halil Ibrahim

12/12/2013 6:03:16 PM

@Can Oz, I don't quite understand your statement, all cultural distinctions are based on some element of belief. Medieval writings and paintings refer to the Ottomans as "Turks". No race can claim racial purity, the Majority of modern Turkey is comprised of the same racial make up as Historical Ottoman Anatolia (Balkans, Caucasus, Arabs and Kurds). Mixed blood is just the nature of Turkic races. Look at how many people have Ghengis Khan's genes.


12/12/2013 5:57:24 PM

... Reason for my first post, however, was the ease with which you dismissed Roxy R’s comment on grounds of blasphemy. If Islam is to fit in with today’s world, which has moved on far beyond the days of the prophet, Muslims must overcome this blasphemy hurdle and question Islam’s existing unjust practices and re-interpret them, taking into consideration today’s values. Only then can it be seen as the religion of peace it claims to be.


12/12/2013 5:56:39 PM

... It may have been acceptable, even kind, for men to take multiple wives just after the Battle of Uhud, which left many orphans and widows, but today polygyny equates to an exploitation of women in male dominant societies, where men can take new brides at will, often underage, often against the girl's wishes because their fathers married them off for profit. It is an unethical system and it's open to abuse...


12/12/2013 5:56:10 PM

hanni bal, why don't these "special provisions" apply to women as well; after all, today there are very powerful and able women out there? Why is it wise and logical for a man to raise a family of multiple women but unwise and illogical for an able and rich woman to give protection to and raise a family of multiple men? Why can a man divorce his wife simply by repeating the word "talaq", but a woman can't? Why do men have double the inheritance? Why are men allowed to beat their wives? ...

Halil Ibrahim

12/12/2013 5:47:27 PM

@hanni bal It's quite an act of hubris to readily assume that the master of a 13 billion year old universe would simply gift the female sex exclusively to Arab men and in multiples of 4, this doesn't stink of human arrogance to you? If orphans and widows are the aim of the Qur'an. Then why do Muslim men pursue four women, instead of adopting orphans? How will they reconcile this act, when their limbs and organs begin to speak before the judgement of God. Since your such a scholar?
< >


AcerPro S.I.P.A HTML & CSS Agency