Official Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) figures released Friday reveal the number of marriages decreased 2.9 percent in 2018. Divorces, meanwhile, increased 10.9 percent compared to 2017. The number of couples married last year was 553,202, while 142,448 couples divorced. Statistics show the average number of divorces was 1.75 per thousand.
Factors concerning the decline in marriage and the rise in divorces are not mentioned in the TurkStat report, but laws allowing a lengthy alimony payment for divorced women may have played a role. The government, on the other hand, tries to promote marriages, or rather, having children, by offering incentives to couples with children.
Statistics show the highest crude marriage rate was in Kilis, a southern city where the rate was 8.55 per thousand last year, followed by Adıyaman, while the lowest marriage rate was in Gümüşhane, a northern province. As for divorces, the western province of İzmir again dominated the list with 2.79 per thousand in the crude divorce rate. İzmir usually leads in divorce rates in official figures. It was followed by the southwestern province of Muğla. TurkStat says 37.6 percent of divorces took place within the first five years of marriage.
In terms of nationalities, Syrian brides took first place among foreign brides, while German grooms married most in 2018. Turkey hosts a sizeable Syrian refugee community since a civil war broke out in 2011 in its southern neighbor Syria. Syrian brides were followed by Azerbaijani and German brides.