| Reading Time: 3 Minutes

The Process of Gender Transition For Foreigners in Turkey

The Process of Gender Transition For Foreigners in Turkey

Modern medicine values not only the physical health of people but also their mental health. The field of medicine also works on physical elements that may lead to mental problems. Gender transition operations are getting common under such reforms in medicine.[1] According to the Turkish Civil Code, there are several conditions that must be fulfilled in terms of getting permission for gender transformation from a Turkish court.

Those conditions are:

Being Over 18 Years Old

To be able to get permission for a transformation of gender, that person needs to be at least 18 years old, regardless of their situation in adulthood.

Not Being Married

Married people don’t have permission to change their gender situation with respect to the institution of family. Also, same-sex marriages are still prohibited in Turkey. For this reason, someone married cannot change their gender.

Related: Foreigner’s Marriage in Turkey.

Being Transsexual

The law says it is a must to have transsexual features to be able to have permission for gender transformation. Those features will be determined and documented by a doctor.

Report From a Medical Board

The person who wants to apply for permission for gender transformation must have a report given by a board of doctors. That report must cover that person’s mental and physical situation in the matter of transsexuality. The report should state that the surgery is a need for that specific individual.[2]


Once the candidate fulfills other conditions, he/she needs to apply to a court for getting permission with other documents. They can apply to the Court of their residence.

Precedent Judgement

Yargıtay 8. Hukuk Dairesi E. 2018/753 K. 2019/5588 T. 10.6.2019:

The person who wants to change their gender and name afterward first needs to request permission from a court. The rectification of the civil registry can be done only after a doctor’s report following a surgery.

The Application of Another Country’s Judgment on Gender Transformation

In principle, a judgment from a country is only legit within the borders of that particular country. However, there are some exceptions. Recognition and approval can make a specific judgment also valid in another country. According to MÖHUK Article 50,

A final judgment of another country can only be performed in Turkey if a Turkish court recognizes and approves it.

To request recognition and approval, there are some conditions. First of all, the judgment cannot be clearly against Turkish law order. Also cannot be a topic that can only be a matter of Turkish courts. There must be an agreement of reciprocity or at least a tradition of the appliance or enforcement of the matter.

There are some essentials that must be covered by the application letter of the request for recognition and approval.

  • The names, surnames, and addresses of the applicant and the defendant.
  • The name of the country and the court that the core judgment belongs to.
  • The date, the number, and a summary of the judgment.
  • The original version and the translation of the final decision.


To sum up,  to be able to transform gender, firstly, people need to have permission from a court. To get permission, the conditions mentioned in the related article must be fulfilled. Thereafter, with the approval of the court, the surgery will take place. After the surgery, again, another doctor’s report approving the surgery is needed. With the document of the final doctor report, the person can apply for the rectification of both gender and name changes to the authorized registration office.


  • [1] Güven, Kudret. “CİNSİYET DEĞİŞİKLİĞİ VE HUKUKÎ SONUÇLARI”. 10. Cadde, 81. Sokak No: 51 06510-Emek/ANKARA, TÜRKİYE, 1997, 71.

Related Articles