TheSupreme Court of Turkey (Court of Cassation (Yargıtay), overturned the verdict of a lower court in a divorce case at hand. It held that a man’s divorce from his wife in Saudi Arabia is invalid in Turkey. The verdict is related to a 2016 divorce case which was approved by a Family Court in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The Court said that ,
“Unilateral divorce contradicted with Turkish public order as it ignored the woman’s will.”
Facts of the case:
A Turkish citizen of Afghan origin filed a law suit for divorce against his wife, who is an Afghan citizen. The lower court approved it. However, the wife took the case to a higher court, seeking an annulment of the divorce. The higher court of appeals rejected her appeal but the Court of Cassation, the ultimate authority in such cases, sided with the woman.
The top court said that "Women and men have equal rights under the Turkish constitution. The recognized verdict of (the Saudi) court is based on a document on talaq (unilateral divorce) and the wife is deemed divorced after three months when she is not reunited with her husband. There is no divorce verdict in this case."
It added that such a verdict is based on a one-sided declaration of the husband and his claim of failure to reunion within three months ignores the woman’s free will and hence, openly contradicts with Turkish public order.