Law Number : 4721

Date of Adoption : November 22,2001

Date and No. of Publication in the Official Gazette : December 08,2001 - 24607

[1] This translation made by myself is unofficial and for information purposes only. All rights of it are reserved as a translation anyway. Read this page first, please. Click "TÜRK MEDENİ KANUNU" for full Turkish text of the Code.




A. Application of the Law and its sources

Article 1- The Law, is applied in all matters which refers with its wording and spirit.

Where no provision is applicable, the jugde decides in accordance with customary law, and if that is non-existent either, he/she decides in such a way that how a rule would enact if he/she were a legislator himself/herself.

The judge, benefits from scientific opinions and judicial decisions while deciding.


B. Scope of legal relationships

I. Acting in good faith

Article 2- Every person, has to obey good faith rules when exercising his/her rights and performing his/her obligations.

Legal order does not protect manifest abuse of a right.


II. Good faith

Article 3- In cases where the Law assigned a legal effect to good faith, existence of good faith is presumed primarily.

However, the person who does not exercise due diligence required by the situation, may not claim presumption of good faith.


III. Discretion of judge

Article 4- In cases where the Law conferred judicial discretion or in matters where the Law ordered consideration of requirements of the situation or valid grounds, the judge decides in accordance with the law and equity.


C. Provisions having general quality

Article 5- Provisions having general quality of this Code and the Code of Obligations, are applied to all private law relationships to the extent that they are suitable.


D. Rules of proof

I. Burden of Proof

Article 6- Unless a contrary provision is stipulated in the Law, every one of the parties has to prove existence of the facts which he/she /it bases his/her/its right.


II. Proving by formal documents

Article 7- Public registers and formal deeds constitute proof of the facts evidenced by them.

Proving incorrectness of their content, does not require any particular form, unless otherwise provided by the Laws.



Real Persons


A. In general

I. Capacity to have rights

Article 8- Every person has capacity to have rights.

Accordingly, all persons are equal to be qualified to have rights and to assume obligations within the limits of legal order.


II. Capacity to act

1. Its scope

Article 9- The person who has capacity to act, may acquire rights and assume obligations through his/her own acts.


2. Its conditions

a. In general

Article 10- Every major person having discretion and not interdicted, has capacity to act.


b. Majority

Article 11- Majority begins on completion of the age of eighteen years.

Marriage renders a person major.


c. To be rendered major

Article 12- Minor who completed the age of fifteen years, can be rendered major by the court at his/her own request and with the consent of his/her parent.


d. Discretion

Article 13- Any person who is not devoid of ability of acting reasonably because of being under age, mental illness, mental weakness, inebriation or any similar reason, has discretion according to this Code.


III. Incapacity to act

1. In general

Article 14- Persons who are deprived of discretion, who are minor and interdicted, do not have capacity to act.


2. To be deprived of discretion

Article 15- Acts of a person who is deprived of discretion, do not create legal effect, on condition that exceptional situations prescribed by the Law are reserved.


3. Minors and interdicted persons having discretion

Article 16- Minors and interdicted persons having discretion, may not assume obligations through their own acts without consent of their legal representatives. Such consent is not required in gratuitous acquisitions and in exercising rights that are strictly bonded to a person.

Minors and interdicted persons having discretion are liable for their tortious acts.


IV. Relationship

1. Blood relationship

Article 17- The degree of blood relationship is determined by the numberof births which bonds relations to one another.

There is lineal relationship among the persons where one is descended from the other, collateral relationship among the persons where one is not descended from the latter but from a joint root.


2. Relationship by marriage

Article 18- Any one of spouses and blood relations of the other, are relations by marriage in the same category and degree.

Relationship by marriage does not terminate by dissolution of marrige that created it.


V. Domicile

1. Definition

Article 19- Domicile is a place where a person settles with the intention of staying permanently.

There may not be more than one domicile of a person at the same time.

That rule is not applied for commercial and industrial institutiuns.


2. Changing of domicile and place where resided

Article 20- Changing of domicile, depends upon acquisition of a new one.

The place where a person currently resides, deemed domicile of the person whose previous domicile is not known or who has not acquired a domicile in Turkey yet even though he/she left his/her domicile that was in a foreign country.


3. Legal domicile

Article 21- Domicile of a child who is under custody is that of his/her parents, if his/her parents do not have a joint domicile, it is domicile of mother or father to whom custody is awarded. In other cases, the place where the child resides, is deemed his/her domicile.

Domicile of the persons under guardianship, is the place where their guardianship authority is located.


4. Being stayed in institutions

Article 22- Staying in a place to attend an educational institution or being placed in an educational, medical, nursing or penal institution, does not give rise to acquisition of a new domicile.


B. Protection of personality

I. Against renunciation and excessive restriction

Article 23- No person may renounce his/her capacity to have rights or capacity to act, even partially.

No person may renounce his/her freedom or restrict them against the law or morals.

Upon written consent, extraction, vaccination and transfer of biological substances of human origin, are legitimite. However, there may not be claimed the person who assumed obligation of giving biological substance to fulfill his/her obligation and may not be claimed pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages.


II. Against violation

1. Principle

Article 24- The person whose personality is violated unlawfully, may claim from judge him/her to be protected against those violating.

Any violation made on personality is unlawful, unless it is justified by one of the reasons such as consent of the person whose personality right injured, superiority of private or public interest or exercise of power vested by the law.


2. Lawsuits

Article 25- The plaintiff may demand from the judge prevention of danger of violation, termination of an ongoing violation, or determination of unlawfulness of a violation which has ended but still influential.

Additionaly, the plaintiff may also request correction or decision to be notified to third parties or published.

The plaintiff's claims for pecuniary or non-pecuniary damages and right of request of restitution of profit gained as a result of unlawful attack pursuant to the provisions of acting without authority are reserved.

Claim for non-pecuniary damages, may not be transferred unless accepted by the opposing party; may not pass to the heirs unless set forth by the legator.

The plaintiff may file lawsuit for protection of his/her personality rights at the court where his/her or the defendant’s domicile is.


III. Right on name

1. Protection of name

Article 26- The person whose name’s usage is disputed, may file a suit for determination of his/her right.

The person whose name is being used unfairly, may request termination of that; if the person using unfairly is at fault, he/she may request recovery of his/her pecuniary damages and to be paid non-pecuniary damages if nature of unfairness he/she incurred required.


2. Changing of name

Article 27- Changing of name, may only be claimed from the judge for justifiable reasons.

Change in the name, is registered in the birth record and announced officially.

By changing name, there shall not be any change in personal status.

Any person who injured by change of name, may request annulment of the changing decision within one year starting from the day on which he/she learned that.


C. Beginning and end of personality

I. Birth and death

Article 28- Personality, begins at the moment a child is born completely alive and ceases by death.

Child acquires capacity to have rights, starting from the day of conception, provided that he/she is born alive.


II. Proving of being alive and death

1. Burden of proof

Article 29- Any person asserting that someone is alive or dead or he/she was alive at a particular time or at the death of another person for exercise of a right, must prove his/her assertion.

If there can not be proved that which one died earlier or later of persons more than one, all are deemed died at the same time.


2. Means of proving

a. In general

Article 30- Birth or death is proved by records kept in the official birth registers.

If there is no record or appeared that existing record is incorrect in the official birth registers, real status may be proved by any kind of evidence.


b. Presumption of death

Article 31- If a person disappears in circumstances in which his or her death may be considered certain, he or she is deemed as dead in reality even though his or her corpse can not have been found.


III. Declaration of absence

1. In general

Article 32- If there is highly probability about the death of a person who has been lost in peril of death or has not been heard of him or her for a long time, the court may declare the absence of that person upon application of the people whose rights relied on that death.

Competent court is the one where located at the last domicile of the person in Turkey; if he or she has never settled in Turkey, the place where he or she has been recorded in birth registers, if such a record is nonexistent, the place where his or her mother or father has been recorded.


2. Procedure of trial

Article 33- In order to be claimed declaration of absence, it is necessary to be elapsed at least one year from the peril of death and five years from the last date of information.

The court, summons the people who have information about the person who will be declared absent, to give information within a certain time by a duly made announcement.

This period shall be at least six months commencing from the day on which the first public announcement was made.


3. Fail of claim

Article 34- If the person who will be declared absent appears or it is heard of him or her before the expiry of the announcement period or the date of his or her death is determined, the claim for declaration of absence becomes void.


4. Its effect

Article 35- If no any result is obtained from the announcement, the court declares absence and the rights relied on death may exactly be used as if the death of absent has been proved.

Declaration of absence shall have effect commencing from the day on which peril of death actualised or the last information was received.


Personal Status Registers

A. In general

I. Registers

Article 36- Personal status is determined by the official registers kept for this purpose.

Principles concerning how those registers to be kept and how obligatory notifications to be made, shall be prescribed by relevant law.


II. Officials

Article 37- Personal status registers are kept by the officials appointed by the State. It is the duty of these officials to keep registers and give certified copies.

It can be vested register officership authority to the representatives of Turkey in foreign countries with the proposal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and approval of the Prime Ministry.


III. Liability

Article 38- Damages arising from keeping of personal status registers are compensated for by the State on condition that being recoursed to the liable officer.

Actions for damages and recourse are filed at the court where personal status registers are kept.


IV. Correction

1. In general

Article 39- Unless a court decision exists, no any correction can be made in any part of personal status registers.


2. In alteration of sex

Article 40- Any person who wants to alter his or her sex, may demand to be granted permission for alteration of sex by applying to the court in person. However, the applicant must be completed the age of eighteen years and be unmarried, besides be in transsexual nature and must certify indispensability of gender alteration in respect to his or her mental health and that he or she has been devoid of fertility capability permanently through a report of a board of health provided from an education and research hospital.

In case of confirmation through an official board of health report that a gender alteration surgery has been materialized in accordance with the medical purpose and procedures based on given permission, it may be decided by the court to be made required correction in civil status registers.


B. Birth registers

I. Notification

Article 41- Notifications regarding births and transactions related to the children found and whose identities are unknown, are performed according to provisions of the relevant law.


II. Alterations in birth registers

Article 42- Alterations in personal status, especially adoption of an extramarital child or to be decided to paternity by judge, correction of lineage, adoption or to be certain of lineage of a found child, shall be recorded to the registry according to the provisions of the relevant law.


C. Death registers

I. Notification of death

Article 43- Notifications regarding deaths shall be performed according to the provisions of the relevant law.


II. Person whose corpse could not been found

Article 44- If a person is disappeared in situations which can be presumed that his or her death is certain, death registration is put in registry by order of the upmost administrative chief of that place, even though his or her corpse could not have been found.

However, any person concerned can claim to be determined by the court whether that person is dead or alive.


III. Declaration of absence

Article 45- Declaration of absence shall be recorded to the death registers, upon notification by the judge.


IV. Registration of alterations

Article 46- Alterations that became compulsory since it has been determined that any notification taken as basis to registration was untrue, ascertained the identity of a corpse which its identity is unknown or because of annulment of a declaration of absence, are performed by being written to the remarks column of the registry of the relevant person.


Legal Persons

General Provisions

A. Legal personality

Article 47- Communities of persons that are organized in order to have identity individually and independent groups of assets which allocated to a certain purpose, shall acquire legal personality pursuant to the special provisions related to them.

Communities of persons and groups of assets whose purposes are against the law and morals, can not acquire legal personality.


B. Capacity to have right

Article 48- Legal persons, are qualified to have all rights and assume all obligations except ones which depend upon human-specific qualities pertaining to nature like gender, age or kinship.


C. Capacity to act

I. Its condition

Article 49- Legal persons acquire capacity to act when they have organs required by the law and by their respective certificate of formation.


II. Its exercise

Article 50- Will of legal person, is declared through its organs.

Organs burden legal person with obligation with their legal transactions and all other acts.

Organs shall also be liable personally on account of their faults.


D. Domicile

Article 51- Domicile of a legal person is the place where its affairs are governed, unless exists any other provision in its certificate of formation.


E. Termination of personality

I. Limited continuation

Article 52- Personality of a terminated legal person shall continue during dissolution as well, on condition that its capacity is limited with the purpose of dissolution.


II. Dissolution of assets

Article 53- Dissolution of the assets of a legal person is executed according to the provisions related to formal dissolution of heritage unless exists any contrary provision in the law and in its certificate of formation.


III. Allocation of assets

Article 54- Assets of legal person shall pass to the public institutions and organizations which pursue closest goal unless any other provision exists in the law or certificate of formation or unless resolved differently by the authorized body of the legal person.

These assets shall be used in line with their priorly allocated purpose to the extent that it is possible. Assets of the legal person which its personality has been terminated through a court decision since it pursued a goal against the law and morals, pass to relevant public organization in any case.


F. Reserved provisions

Article 55- Provisions of the law are reserved regarding statutory bodies and trading companies.



A. Its formation

I. Its definiton

Article 56- (As amended by the 31 st Article of the Act dated August 7,2003 and numbered 4963) Associations are community of persons having legal personality which have been constituted by at least seven real or legal persons by means of uniting their knowledge and labour permanently in order to actualise a certain and common purpose except profit sharing.

There may not be formed associations for purposes against the law and morals.


II. Right to establish association

Article 57- Everyone, has the right to form association without receiving permission priorly.

Founders of the association must have capacity to act.


III. Charter

Article 58- Every association shall have a charter.

It is obligatory to be indicated name of the association, purpose, sources of income, conditions of membership, organs, organisation and provisional governing board of it in charter of association.

Charter of association may not be against imperative provisions of the law.

There shall be executed provisions of the law in the issues which are not regulated in charter of association.


IV. Acquisition of legal personality

1. Moment of acquisition

Article 59- Associations acquire legal personality at the moment when they submit declaration of formation, charter of association and other required documents to the upmost administrative chief of the places where their domicile is located.

Content of declaration of formation and what required documents made up of are indicated in by-laws.


2. Examination

Article 60- Verification of the documents, declaration of formation and charter of association are examined by the upmost administrative chief on the basis of file scrutiny within sixty days.

It is immediately required to be corrected or completed from the founders, in case has been detected any unlawfulness or deficiency in declaration of formation, charter or legal status of founders. If stated deficiency is not completed or unlawfulness is not corrected within thirty days commencing from the day of notification of that request, the upmost administrative chief informs the fact to the Public Prosecution Office to bring an action before competent civil court of first instance regarding dissolution of the association. Public prosecutor may also claim the court to decide suspension of activities of the association.

If not found any unlawfulness or deficiency in the declaration of formation, charter and documents or such unlawfulness or deficiency has been corrected in a certain time; the fact is immediately notified to the association in written and the association is recorded to the registry of associations.