New bill by Turkey’s AKP grants Islamic legal experts authority to solemnize

BİRGÜN DAİLY 26.07.2017 10:00
New bill by Turkey’s AKP grants Islamic legal experts authority to solemnize
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AKP has continued blatantly adopting more reactionary policies since the shady referendum on April 16. A new regulation, which the Prime Minister Binali Yılırdım had announced in joy on June 28, was forwarded to the Parliament yesterday (July 25).

That new regulation grants muftis (Islamic legal experts) the authority to solemnize couples officially.

The regulation, which is part of a set of changes in civil registry law and in some other acts, includes already disputed articles. The fact that the bill was signed by the ministers who have recently been replaced also caught attention.

It is speculated that the article that would allow muftis to officially perform solemnization will eventually be turned into a practice also granting imams with the same authority.

Currently, couples desiring to get solemnized by imams can do so. However, unless they get wed by an appointed state authority, they are not officially registered as married.

Probably the most disputed article of the proposed changes, this new regulation is asserted by government officials as a change that is for making it more convenient for citizens and for making the process run faster.

Since the initial announcement of PM Yıldırım, the proposal has been criticized by the opposition as an attempt to design social life according to religious doctrines, which will eventually leave women in difficult positions with regards to their rights on marriage and divorce and will also pave the way for establishment of an overall civil code based on one religion.

Another proposed change that caused reactions involves the change in current law on ‘naturilizaiton requirements’. In the new article, the authority to approve naturilizaiton, as well as, the definition of eligibility for it, will be given solely to the interior ministry.

A new criterion will be added on the article regarding naturalization through marriage. While the current relevant article says naturalization through marriage is approved so long ‘it does not stand as a restrain on national unity and public order’, the revised version of it will be also have the phrase ‘not standing as a restrain on public decency’.

Front-page article of BirGün published on 26 July 2017, Wednesday with the headline of 'The new civil code of the new regime'


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