Child cannot take stepfather's surname, top court decides

Published 28.06.2015 22:13

The Supreme Court of Appeals General Council decided over the weekend that a mother could not give the surname of her second husband to the child she had with her first husband. Emine and Mahmut Ünlü got married in 2000 before divorcing in 2007. The custody of their child, Ali, was given to the mother. Emine then married Ali Ertaş in 2010, taking her second husband's surname. She then applied to the court to change her child's surname to Ertaş. An Istanbul court granted her wish, but the matter was taken to the Supreme Court of Appeals, which annulled the lower court's decision. The article in the Constitution that had mandated that the child keep the surname of the genetic father was annulled to allow the child to get the mother's maiden name, the top appeals court argued. The case was sent back to the lower court, which insisted on its decision. The case was then taken to the Supreme Court of Appeals General Council, which decided that the annulment of the constitutional article did not allow the annulment of the law to the disadvantage of the genetic father, but was introduced to grant equality between the genetic mother and father before the law. The council said if the custody of the child was given to the father, he would want to revert the child's surname to his, causing serious harm to the child's psychology.

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