Turkey and the Hague Abduction Convention

The United States' Annual Report on International Child Abduction 2020 states that:

Turkey and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since August 1, 2000.

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained inTurkey. There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or Turkish central authorities. Attorney fees, if necessary, are the responsibility of the applicant parent. Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

Initial Inquiries: In 2019, the Department received two initial inquiries from parents regarding possible abductions to Turkey for which no completed applications were submitted to the Department.

Central Authority: While the United States and the Turkish Central Authorities have a cooperative relationship, delays in communication about actions to resolve Convention cases are an area of continuing concern.

Voluntary Resolution: The Convention states that central authorities “shall take all appropriate measures to secure the voluntary return of the child or to bring about an amicable resolution of the issues.” In 2019, three abduction cases were resolved through voluntary means.

Location: In some cases, the competent authorities delayed taking appropriate steps to locate a child after a Convention application was filed. The average time to locate a child was six months and 10 days. As of December 31, 2019, there was one case where the Turkish authorities remained unable to locate a child.

Judicial Authorities: Delays by the Turkish judicial authorities at the appellate level impacted cases during 2019. Enforcement: While a court in Turkey ordered a return under the Convention, the Turkish authorities were not able to enforce this order.

Department Recommendations: The Department and the Turkish Central Authority will continue the effective processing and resolution of cases under the Convention.

Providing wise and experienced legal counsel to international families for many years

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