Turkey: Civil Code Section 6: Custody


Below are selected translated provisions from the Turkish Civil code, the 6th section, regarding Custody Laws.



I. Conditions

ARTICLE 335. - Minor is under the custody of his/her parents. Custody shall not be taken from the parents unless there is a legal reason. Unless the judge requires to appoint a guardian, disabled majors shall also stay under the custody of their parents.

II.If parents are married

ARTICLE 336. - Parents shall use the custody together as long as marriage lasts. If the common life is terminated or separation is realised, the judge may entrust the custody to one of the spouses. Custody shall be entrusted to the party who is alive in the case where one of the parents dies, and to the party with custody in the case of divorce.

III. If parents are not married

ARTICLE 337. - If parents are not married, custody belongs to the mother. The judge, in accordance with the child's interest, appoints a guardian or entrusts the custody to the father in the cases where the mother is minor, disabled or dead or the custody is taken from her.

IV. Stepchildren

ARTICLE 338. - Spouses are also obliged to care and show attention to their minor stepchildren. The other spouse helps the spouse who holds the custody of his/her own child as appropriate, and represents the child for his/her needs to the extend situations and conditions require.

B. Scope of the custody

I. In General

ARTICLE 339. - Parents shall make and apply the necessary decisions about the child's care and education by considering his/her benefit. The child is obliged to obey his/her parents. Parents shall allow the child to set his/her life the extend of his/her maturity; they shall take his/her opinions on important matters into consideration as much as possible.

The child cannot leave the house without taking his/her parents' consent and he/she cannot betaken away without a legal reason.

Parents shall name the child.

II. Education

ARTICLE 340. - Parents shall educate the child according to their resources, and provide and protect him/her physical, mental, psychological, ethical and social development.

Parents shall provide the child, especially physically and mentally disabled one, with general and professional education appropriate to his/her skills and tendency.

III.Religious Education

ARTICLE 341. - Parents shall have the right to decide on the child's religious education. Any agreement restricting this right of the parents shall be invalid. A major shall be free to choose his/her religion.

IV.Representation of the child

ARTICLE 342. - Parents are the legal representatives of the child against third persons within the framework of the custody. Bonafide third persons may assume that each of the spouses act with the consent of the other. Except the issues depending on the permission of the probation authorities, provisions regarding the representation of disabled shall apply on the representation of custody.

V. Acting capacity of the child

ARTICLE 343. - Acting capacity of the child who is under custody is similar to the capacity of the person under probation. The child shall be responsible of his/her dept with his/her own property regardless of rights of the parents on the property of the child.

VI. Representation of family by the child

ARTICLE 344. - Child under custody may carry out legal transactions on behalf of the parents with their consent, if he/she has the sensibility; parents shall incur debt on account of these transactions.

VII.Legal transactions between the child and parents

ARTICLE 345. - A child incurring a debt due to a legal transaction carried out between the child and mother or father, or between the child and a third person for the benefit of the parents shall depend on a judge's approval or participation of a guardian.

C. Protection of the Child

I. Protection measure

ARTICLE 346. - In the case where the benefit and development of the child are in danger, and if the parents cannot find a remedy for or are not able to cope with the situation, the judge shall take necessary measures for the protection of the child.

II. Placement of Children

ARTICLE 347. - If physical and psychological development of the child is found to be in danger or the child is abandoned adoptively, the judge may place the child with another family or in an institution by taking him/her from the parents. If remaining of the child within the family disturbs the peace of the family to a degree that cannot be expected from the family or there is no other way under the circumstances, the judge may take the same measures upon the request of the parents or the child.

If the parents or the child cannot afford to pay the expenditures rising from these measures, they shall be born by the State.

Provisions regarding alimony are reserved.

III. Abolishment of Custody

1. In General

ARTICLE 348. - If no result from the other measures regarding the protection of the child is accomplished or these measures are predicted to be insufficient, the judge may decide to abolish the custody in the case where:

1. the parents cannot fulfill their custody duty as required due to one of the reasons of inexperience, illness, disability, being in another place or such.

2. the parents do not give the child sufficient care or neglect their responsibilities for him/her. If custody of both the mother and father is abolished, a guardian shall be appointed to the child. Unless stated otherwise in the decision, abolishment of custody shall include all existing children and children to be born.

2. In the case of remarriage of mother or father

ARTICLE 349. - Remarriage of the mother or father who has the custody does not require the abolishment of custody. However, as well as the custody owner may be changed for the benefit of child when necessary, a guardian may be appointed to the child by abolishing the custody according to the situation and conditions.

3. Liabilities of parents where custody is abolished

ARTICLE 350. - Where custody is abolished, liabilities of the parents to meet the children's care and education expenses shall continue. If the parents or the child cannot afford to pay these expenses, they shall be born by the State.

Provisions regarding maintenance are reserved.

IV. Change in condition

ARTICLE 351. - Where there is a change in condition, measures regarding the protection of the child shall be adjusted to the new conditions. If the reason necessitating the abolishment of custody is ceased, the judge shall give the custody back upon the request of mother or father or ex-officio. 

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