Turkish court demands man to prove he doesn’t love his wife to get a divorce
Burcu PURTUL UÇAR – ISTANBULAn Istanbul court has rejected the divorce application of a man who wanted to legally separate from his wife, demanding evidence that he did not love his wife.
The 54-year-old man, a retired apartment janitor, filed a divorce, saying that he does not love his wife anymore. The court in return wanted him to provide evidence and have some witnesses.
The man, however, rejected the demand, saying that he does not have to offer evidence or show any witness.
“How am I supposed to do that? I just know if I love someone or not,” he said.
İbrahim Barlas, the lawyer of the man, demanded legal precedent from the court, defending that keeping two people forcibly together breached article 8 of the human rights declaration.
But the court rejected his application on grounds they did not find his defense sufficient, stating that the complainant failed to prove the fault of the defendant, the lack of interest for maintaining conjugal union, and ending the marriage without the chance of reuniting.
Meanwhile, Barlas appealed the decision to the Supreme Court and filed a petition.
“The decision on making people live together cannot be made by a third-party. Forcing someone to prove his lack of love for his wife is not humane. Individuals do not have to obtain permission when they get married. It is not necessary for them to obtain permission or the decision of a court when they are getting a divorce,” the petition said.
Barlas stressed that he wanted the reversal of the decision especially for women subjected to domestic violence.
“It is possible to get divorced with only one petition in many European countries. But Turkish courts are forcing people to prove it. One fourth of the women – 65 of them – who were killed in 2016, were murdered only for wanting to get divorced,” he said.
Barlas said that if all domestic legal avenues are exhausted, he would carry the matter to the European Court of Human Rights.
“When a case is rejected by court, parties are obligated to wait for at least three years to file a new application. There is a gap in the law. A new regulation is necessary in civil law to eliminate all possibilities of negations,” he added.