THE ASSET REGIME UNDER TURKISH CIVIL LAW (SEPTEMBER 2017)

The marital property regime under Turkish Law, has been amended as “participation to the acquired assets” instead of “separation of assets” via Turkish Civil Code (“TCC”) numbered 4721 entered into force 01.01.2002. Accordingly, the amendment effected the marriages which officially started before the enforcement date and subjected to divorce following the enforcement date.

The couples married before the enforcement date of Law shall be subjected to separation of assets regime as per the Article 10 of Law on Enforcement and Application Procedure of Turkish Civil Code numbered 4722. Unless another property regime is agreed, such couples shall be subjected to regime of participation as of 01.01.2002. It must be underlined that; the mentioned provision is not applicable for the couples who have determined another property regime in the transitional period of one-year under the Law starting from 01.01.2002.  

Unless otherwise agreed by the married couples, there are two types of assets in regime of participation for the acquired property: These are summarized as follows:

  • Personal assets are defined as personal belongings acquired by either one of the spouses before 01.01.2002, enforcement date of the acquired asset regime (Article 220, TCC). Such assets include the properties that acquired without contribution of the other spouse such as inherited property or gifts, non-pecuniary damages, etc. However, spouses are entitled to include any personal assets to the regime of participation via an agreement.
  • Acquired asset would consist of salary, income from commercial activities, payments performed by social security institution or social assistance organizations, compensations due to incapacity of work, revenues of personal assets, etc.

Unless proved otherwise, all assets registered to one of the name of spouses shall be deemed as acquired property (Articles 222 to 223, Turkish Civil Code). In case of any personal belonging allegation of the spouse, such a claim shall be proved by the related. Consequently, the spouses must prove his/her proprietary right on each of their personal assets in case of a divorce or expiration of the regime.

The legal regime may expire due to reasons such as annulment of marriage, divorce, death of one of the spouses or determination of another property regime. In case the property regime expires due to reasons such as divorce or death of one of the spouses, the distribution of matrimonial property process must be initiated.

The equalization of assets is a determined process under TCC which shall be applied in case of necessity or demand. In case the property regime expires, first and foremost, the type of property regime should be determined as per TCC. If there isn’t any specific agreement between the spouses, the personal and acquired properties should be determined. Hence, the personal assets should not be included in the distribution of assets and any debts related with the assets must be deducted before distribution of assets. Following the determination, the remaining shall be distributed between the spouses equally.