Bolu mayor announces ‘controversial’ wedding fee tariffs

Bolu mayor announces ‘controversial’ wedding fee tariffs

Bolu mayor announces ‘controversial’ wedding fee tariffs

The mayor of the northwestern province of Bolu, Tanju Özcan, has announced that the city will charge higher wedding fees for couples if one of them is tying the knot for a second or a third time.

If one of the partners is getting married for the second time, the couple will pay 5,000 Turkish Liras (around $500) in a wedding fee and if it’s their third time the fee will go up to 50,000 liras. 

According to the new price list, if the groom or bride is a foreign national - or both of them are - they will have to pay 100,000 liras as a wedding fee. 

Özcan revealed the new tariffs during a press conference on Nov. 11 where he unveiled the municipality’s budget for 2022. 

“This is rather an unusual...controversial decision. Why such a move? First of all, we are doing this in order to protect the family and discourage divorce,” he said, arguing that the motive is in line with the articles in the constitution regarding the protection of family. 

Özcan claimed that divorce rates have increased sharply in Turkey after adultery was decriminalized in the country, calling for making adultery a crime again. 

“Why higher fees for foreign nationals? Some elderly men, whose wife deceased, seek marrying foreign women. Most of the time, those men ended up getting swindled by those women. Moreover, we do not want foreigners to settle in Bolu and raise their child here. We are doing this to prevent two more Syrians or two more Iraqis from getting married here,” he explained. 

Özcan’s proposals will be voted at the municipal council. 

Özcan triggered a nationwide controversy earlier this year for his plans to charge a tenfold fee for the water bills and solid waste taxes of foreigners and his anti-migrant statements.