Half of divorces contested in Turkey, statistics show

Published 05.09.2017 00:00

More than half of the divorces in Turkey last year were "contested" in a court, indicating that Turkish couples give each other a tough time while ending their union, an Anadolu Agency (AA) report has claimed.

The findings in the report showed some 212,945 cases of divorce were recorded across Turkey last year, of which 113,892 were "contested," meaning the spouses could not arrive at an agreement, even with the assistance of their legal counsel, or get separated because of legal obstacles and eventually approached a court to adjudicate their dispute.

The report identified adultery as the primary reason behind most divorce cases followed by abandonment of husband or wife.

Istanbul, the country's most populated city, also led in divorce cases with 45,534 divorce lawsuits filed last year. It was followed by the capital Ankara. Cities with the least number of divorce cases were northern Turkey's Bayburt and the southeastern cities of Hakkari and Şırnak.

Experts attributed divorce rates to a lack of marriage counseling. The Family and Social Policies Ministry offers marriage counseling services to prevent divorces. The ministry noted that most divorce cases, filed over minor disagreements between couples, could be resolved through counseling sessions. If divorce proceeds anyway, the ministry also offers counseling services for children of divorced couples.

Meanwhile, domestic violence was also a common occurrence in the country with victims, often women, seeking a divorce. Although police protection and shelters are available for women threatened by their spouses, authorities say it is difficult to prevent murders or acts of violence simply by laws. In Turkey, a patriarchal mindset is prevalent with women viewed as staining the husband's honor, especially if they seek remarriage after a divorce.

The latest statistics indicated that both marriages and divorces were showing a slight decline. Marriages decreased by 1.4 percent in 2016, the year with the latest available data on the subject, compared to 2015, with only 594,493 couples getting married, while divorces decreased 4.3 percent. Some 39.1 percent of all divorces took place within the first five years of marriage, figures showed.

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