Civil Wedding for Lebanese Citizens in Istanbul

Here are some instructions about getting married in Istanbul. It looks overwhelming but it’s worth it. You can either do everything yourself or seek the service of  agencies in Beirut that will take care of things for you for a fee.

In Lebanon (in this order)

-       Get your اخراج قيد فردي from your respective دائرة نفوس

-       Get is signed in your respective محافظة

-       Translate your اخراج قيد فردي AND both of your passports to Turkish at a sworn translator (مترجم محلف)

Note: we did it at Sleem Translation. Hamra Street, Rasamni Building Tel: 01 352950, 03 337848. But you need to make sure they translate your names the way they appear in the passport in English. i.e. If your name is written Khoury in the passport, make sure they write Khoury and not Khouri or el-Khouri etc. (Cost: around 120,000 LL)

-       Notarize the translations at كاتب عدل  (Cost: 50,000 max LL)

-       Stamp the notarized translations at العدلية (Off Sami Solh Avenue)  (cost: 4,000 LL )

-       Take all the translated, notarized, and stamped documents to the وزارة الخارجية (Sursock palace facing Cinema Sofil) to get them stamped (Cost: 4,000 LL).

Note: Make sure they stamp the Turkish translation of the اخراج قيد فردي and NOT the Arabic اخراج قيد فردي . Double check because they do it quickly and don't ask you why you're doing them.

Note: If you go to the العدلية and وزارة الخارجية on Saturdays, you will save a lot of waiting time and traffic.

-       Take everything to the Turkish Embassy in Naqqash/Rabieh. They open until 3pm and they need to stamp everything you translated to Turkish. (Cost: 100,00 approximately)

Note: The embassy is in RUE 1. So look for the signs because the area is very confusing.

In Istanbul

Things you need:

1.     Paperwork you did in Beirut

2.     Letter from the hotel where you'll be staying the day of the wedding

3.     Blood tests

4.     Passports

5.     6 pictures each

6.     Turkish-English Translator


Letter from the hotel:

General rule: You can only get married in the municipality of the hotel where you are staying. i.e. if you’re staying in a hotel in Beyoglu, then you have to  get married in the Beyoglu municipality etc. The municipality where we got married is called Besiktas (pronounced Beshiktahsh) but we were told that either this one or Beyoglu or Sisli (pronounced Shishli) municipalities are used to dealing with foreigners. So choose a hotel that falls within the jurisdiction of these three municipalities.

-       Get a letter written and signed in Turkish that says that you are staying at this specific hotel on the date of your wedding. A print out of the online reservation does NOT work. It needs to be written in Turkish and signed by the hotel or else the municipality will not accept it.

Blood tests (Turkish Nikah Tahlilsi):

-       Go to a public hospital (they don’t accept the results of a private hospital such as the German Hospital off Taksim). We went to one off Taksim Square which is the central square of Istanbul. If you ask anyone on Taksim for “Hastenese” (hospital in turkish) they will give you directions to that one. Taxi drivers may know the private German hospital next to the public one. It’s called “Aleman Hastenese” (German Hospital) so you can go there and then walk 2 min to the public one which is right by it.

-       Ask for someone who speaks English there. Tell them you need blood tests for the “nikah tahlilsi” (marriage test). You’ll come back the following day to get the results. (Cost: 40$). Beware of the long waits and the hectic queues. 

-       When you get the results, you need to get a report from a doctor that says that you’re healthy and the results are clear. Ask a doctor from the hospital to write that report for you. (Cost: free).

Note: It's better to have someone who speaks Turkish with you because English is not spoken in hospitals or Municipalities.

Municipality for an appointment:

- Take everything you have (1) paperwork from Lebanon (2) blood tests + doctor’s report (3) letter from hotel (4) 6 pictures each (5) 150 turkish liras to the marriage department of the municipality of your choice for a marriage appointment.

Note: You should go to the “marriage department” of the municipality, which may not be in the same building. For instance, if you want to go to the wedding department in Besiktas, you should tell the driver to take you to the “Besiktas Nikah Dairesi” (Besiktas Marriage Department) and NOT “Besiktas Belediyyesi” (Besiktas Municipality) because the latter is in another building.

- The wedding rooms at the wedding departments are not nice at all. They are old and worn out. We understood that most Turkish people get married either at home or in a public place but not at the municipality. But you can check it out yourself and see if you’d like to do it there. If not, then you have to give them the address of the place where you are planning on getting married (hotel? Restaurant?) so the wedding officiator can go there on the wedding day. Of course this has to be in the area covered by the municipality (Cost: btetween 60 and 150 liras depending if it’s on a weekend or weekday, in or outside the municipality. If you do it outside the municipality, you have to pay the person who officiates you extra)

- On your wedding day, you have to have a translator with you. The translator doesn’t have to be a sworn translator but could be anyone who speaks Turkish and English. The receptionist at the hotel where we were staying was the translator for our wedding.  (Cost: your discretion. We paid him 100$ because he came with us to make the appointment and then he came again on the wedding day).

Lebanese Consulate:

- Once you are done, take everything you have to the Lebanese consulate. It is in Tesvikiye Caddesi No:134/1 facing the Syrian Consulate. You only need 10 minutes there. Cost: Free.

*This post was written in 2011 and may be outdated. Please verify all information before proceeding*