The issue of the child's surname in custody disputes in Turkey: what are the best interests of the child?


ÖZCAN BÜYÜKTANIR B. G., Yilmaz A. Z.

BRITISH JOURNAL OF MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES, 2021 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13530194.2021.1999211
  • Journal Name: BRITISH JOURNAL OF MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, Geobase, Historical Abstracts, Index Islamicus, Linguistic Bibliography, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Political Science Complete, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

In the Turkish legal system, children born within marriage receive the father's surname. In the case of a divorce, custody of the child is usually granted to the mother. However, the child's surname does not change after the divorce, while the woman resumes her pre-marriage surname, which means the surnames of the child and the mother will differ. Due to different surnames, the child may face various problems with school life, healthcare services and may even suffer from peer pressure. The Turkish Civil Code (TCC) does not permit the woman to change the child's surname, even when she has been granted custody by court order. In this article we discuss the best interests of the child when the mother and child carry different surnames. We argue that there is inequality for women in the TCC regulations concerning the child's surname despite claims to support gender equality.