Prohibiting married women from retaining maiden names unlawful: ECHR
STRASBOURG – Hürriyet Daily News
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled today that Turkish laws that compel women to adopt their husbands’ surname after marriage is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.
In a complaint filed by Gülizar Tuncer Güneş, a Turkish national who was born in 1966 and lives in Istanbul, the court said the practice violated Article 14, which prohibits discrimination, in conjunction with Article 8, which encompasses the right to the respect of private and family life. The ECHR fined Turkey 1,500 euros for non-pecuniary damage and 3,030 euros in cost and expenses.
The case concerned Güneş’s complaint that she had not been allowed to keep just her maiden name after her marriage in March 2005. She claimed in particular that the fact that Turkish law allowed married men but not married women to use only their own surname after marriage amounted to discrimination based on sex.
According to Turkish laws, women can keep their maiden name after marriage but are obliged to also use their husband’s surname.