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Turkish court stirs marriage debate

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled that a civil marriage is no longer compulsory for religiously married citizens, worrying civil groups about the implications for women's rights.
Bride Mutlu and groom Ihsan Baran pose for their photographer in front of the New mosque at Eminonu square in Istanbul September 11, 2014. REUTERS/Murad Sezer (TURKEY - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR45W6X

Turkey’s Constitutional Court announced May 29 that civil marriage is no longer a legal requirement for religiously married citizens, a decision that will have serious social implications. Many critics, especially women, fret that the ruling will pave the way for more violations of women's and children’s rights.

The court based its decision on a case from 2014, when a criminal court in the Turkish province of Erzurum appealed a case to the Constitutional Court involving a religiously married couple without a civil marriage and the imam who carried out the ceremony.

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