Appeals court rules married woman can continue using maiden name
BATMAN – Doğan News AgencyTurkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a female lawyer in the southeastern province of Batman who wished to continue using her maiden name after getting married, reversing the judgment of a local court, which previously said the practice would violate the civil code.
Around a year and a half ago, lawyer Emine Şeker appealed to a local family court in order to continue using her maiden name instead of her husband’s last name but the Batman court rejected her request, arguing it would violate the Turkish Civil Code.
Aware of a September 2015 decision by the appeals court’s General Assembly of Civil Chambers permitting women to apply to a family court to keep their maiden name after marriage, Şeker filed an application to the Supreme Court of Appeals.
The second chamber of the appeals court evaluated Şeker’s file and reversed the family court’s decision, reminding the local court of recent changes in case law.
The local court complied with the higher court’s decision, allowing Şeker to be the first woman in Batman to continue to use her maiden name after getting married.
Legal arrangements necessary
Speaking to reporters after the decision, Şeker said she aimed to “fight against the patriarchal system.”
“I like my family name and I want to use it,” she said, adding her husband agreed with her that she should be able to use her family name just like he does.
“With this decision, local courts will accept these cases and women who wish to use their maiden names will be able to do so without appealing to the Supreme Court of Appeals,” Şeker stated.
“The Supreme Court of Appeals decided that a married woman does not have to provide valid grounds to use her maiden name; her demand would be adequate grounds,” she added, underlining legal arrangements at parliament were necessary for women to continue using their maiden names without resorting to courts.
The lawyer underlined that it was important the court ruling referred to European case law instead of the Turkish Civil Code in its decision, suggesting this might lead to changes in national case law as well.