European Court of Human Rights says refusal to allow woman to use her maiden name was discriminatory
The refusal of courts in Turkey to allow a woman to use her maiden name was a breach of her human rights, an international court has ruled.
Bahar Leventoğlu, from Izmir, married her husband Atila Abdulkadiroğlu in 1996 but wanted to keep her maiden name as she was already established under this name in her professional and academic life.
However, she was unable to do so as under the country’s Civil Code, married women are forbidden from using their maiden names alone – although they are allowed to combine their maiden names with their husband’s surnames.
Mrs Leventoğlu Abdulkadiroğlu began legal proceedings in Izmir seeking permission to use only her maiden name but her application was rejected on the basis of the Civil Code. She appealed but the original judgement was upheld. The women applied to reopen the proceedings but this request was also rejected.
Mrs Leventoğlu Abdulkadiroğlu then applied to the European Court of Human Rights. She claimed that the restrictions amounted to sexual discrimination as they do not apply to men. They had, she argued, breached her rights under articles 8 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 8 governs “respect for private and family life” and article 14 prohibits discrimination.
The Court considered material submitted by the Turkish government but concluded that:
“…the Court considers that the Government have not put forward any facts or arguments capable of persuading it to reach a different conclusion in the present case. Having regard to its case-law on the subject, the Court considers that there has been a violation of Article 14 of the Convention in conjunction with Article 8.”
Mrs Leventoğlu Abdulkadiroğlu was not awarded compensation – legally termed ‘just satisfaction’ – as she had not applied for this.
Photo of Izmir by Tarik Gandur via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence
Share this post
Get free family law updates
Marilyn Stowe’s new book: expert advice on all aspects of divorce, just 99p!
Divorce & Splitting Up by Marilyn Stowe is the essential how-to book for anyone who is getting divorced or splitting up from a partner. Read more >>
"A must buy that really opens your eyes to what is involved if you are considering or going through a divorce." - Amanda Brown
"This will answer your questions in a way that non-lawyers can understand." - Miss P.
"Don't get divorced without it. I read this book despite being divorced for more than 10 years. I wish I'd had this book to hand at the time. Great examples, simple to read and understand." - Jamie
"This really has helped me to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and I will come out of it a stronger person." - J
Marilyn Stowe on SKY News & ITV This Morning
- u6c00 on High Court judge says children are the “real victims and casualties” of divorce
- Anonymous on High Court judge says children are the “real victims and casualties” of divorce
- Anonymous on Test for imprisonment for non payment of maintenance must be simplified, says High Court judge
- Andrew on Test for imprisonment for non payment of maintenance must be simplified, says High Court judge
- JamesB on English family law à la française by guest blogger Melanie Bataillard-Samuel
Subscribe & Follow
In the Media
Marilyn Stowe is the senior partner in Stowe Family Law, which has offices in Yorkshire, Cheshire and London. With more than 30 years’ experience handling divorce cases and family law proceedings she is regarded as one of the most formidable and sought after divorce lawyers in the UK. In 2012, Marilyn became one of the first solicitors to qualify as a family law arbitrator.
All persons mentioned in the scenarios are fictitious: details have been deliberately changed in order to protect identities and other confidential circumstances of my clients. All advice and information on this blog including posts written by guest authors, is given only as a general guide to the operation of the law on the date of publication. Readers must place no reliance whatsoever on the content of this blog and must always obtain their own legal advice. Marilyn Stowe, Stowe Family Law LLP and guest authors accept no liability whatsoever arising as a result of reliance upon its content.
Contact Stowe Family Law
These downloads accompany Marilyn Stowe's latest book: Divorce & Splitting Up: Advice From a Top Divorce Lawyer. After opening, right click to save to your computer.
For more free downloads, visit the Downloads section.