Turkish Justice Minister signals change in civil code and restriction on alimony
Turkish Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said that they are planning to separate courts' handling of divorce applications and alimony obligations.
Speaking in a live broadcast, minister Tunc said:
"We can handle divorce and alimony cases separately. We should not remain silent to grievances. We are sensitive to the susceptibilities of women. On the other hand, we should consider things from the perspectives of both sides if cases are leading to grievances on both sides."
Tunc announced that a symposium would be held on 1 November "to discuss such grievances" and that the Minister of Family was also invited.
"With a group of academicians, we will discuss in detail proposals for solutions," he added, without indicating who would decide which academicians would be invited and whether or not women's rights groups would join in in the discussions.
The civil code currently in effect maintains that the party who is likely to be impoverished by divorce is entitled to receive alimony from the other party after divorce. This in effect favors women as a notable part of women in Turkey are unemployed an economically dependent on their husbands.
A move to amend the civil code and handle alimony applications separately is bound to discourage many women from filing for divorce and compel them to put up with unhappy marriages.