International Parental Child Abduction

English

Country Information

Turkey

Turkey
Republic of Turkey
Reconsider travel to Turkey due to terrorism and arbitrary detentions. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Reconsider travel to Turkey due to terrorism and arbitrary detentions. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

Areas along the Turkey-Syria border and the southeastern provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkari, and Bitlis due to terrorism.

Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Turkey. Terrorist organizations explicitly target Western tourists and expatriates for kidnapping and assassination. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Under the State of Emergency, security forces have detained tens of thousands of individuals, including U.S. citizens, suspected of affiliation with alleged terrorist organizations based on scant or secret evidence and grounds that appear to be politically motivated. U.S. citizens have also been subject to travel bans that prevent them from departing Turkey.

Participation in gatherings, protests, and demonstrations not explicitly approved by the Government of Turkey can result in arrest.

The U.S. government subjects its personnel in Turkey to certain security restrictions that are subject to change.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Turkey:

  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners, particularly at popular tourist locations in Istanbul.
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Stay at hotels with identifiable security measures.
  • Monitor local media and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Turkey.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Southeast Turkey and the Syrian Border – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Southeastern Turkey, including the provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkari, and Bitlis, is vulnerable to terrorist activities. Terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, ambushes, car bomb detonations, improvised explosive devices, as well as kidnappings for ransom, shootings, roadblocks, and violent demonstrations have occurred in these areas.

Do not to travel to the large urban centers near the Turkish/Syrian border due to the continued threat of attacks by terrorist groups based in both Turkey and Syria. The government of Turkey prohibits border crossings from Syria into Turkey, even if the traveler previously entered Syria from Turkey.

The U.S. government has very limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in southeastern Turkey as the U.S. government restricts its employees from traveling to the region.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

... [READ MORE]
Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Ankara

110 Atatürk Blvd.
Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara
Turkey
Telephone: +(90) (312) 455-5555
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(90) (312) 455-5555
Fax: +(90) (312) 466-5684
Contact American Citizen Services Ankara

Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Instanbul
Poligon Mahallesi, Sariyer Caddesi No: 75
İstinye 34460 Sariyer-  Istanbul
Turkey
Telephone: +(90)(212) 335-9000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(90)(212) 335-9000
Fax: +(90) (212) 335-9102
Contact American Citizen Services Istanbul

U.S. Consulate Adana
Girne Bulvari No. 212,
Güzelevler Mahallesi, Yüregir
Adana, Turkey
Telephone: +(90)(322) 455-4100
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(90)(322) 455-4100
Fax: +(90)(322) 455-4141
Contact American Citizen Services Adana

U.S. Consular Agent - Izmir
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(90) (312) 455-5555
Email: 

General Information

Turkey and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since August 1, 2000.

For information concerning travel to Turkey, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Turkey.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

 

Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Turkey.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20520
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Fax: 202-485-6221
Website

The Turkish Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Justice.  The Ministry of Justice has an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applicationsThe Ministry of Justice forwards completed Hague applications to the appropriate Public Prosecutor attached to the civil court of general jurisdiction in the jurisdiction where the defendant resides.  Parents or legal guardians and other parties (e.g., the child) have the right to their own counsel.  The Turkish Central Authority can be reached at:

Turkish Ministry of Justice
General Directorate of International Law and Foreign Relations
Mustafa Kemal Mah. 2151.Cad. No:34/A  
Söğütözü, ANKARA
Telephone: +90-312-218-7801
Facsimile:  +90-312-219-4523
Email: uhdigm@adalet.gov.tr

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Turkey, a parent or legal guardian is encouraged to review the eligibility criteria and instructions for completing the Hague application form located at the Department of State website and contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.  It is extremely important that each document written in English be translated into Turkish.  Please note, however, that certified translations are not necessary.  Any competent person or organization may translate the documents.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the Turkish Central Authority, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or Turkish central authorities. Attorney fees, if necessary, are the responsibility of the applicant parent. Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Turkey.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Turkey.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

Retaining an Attorney

In a Hague Abduction Convention case, it is not mandatory for a petitioner to retain a private attorney, because the Turkish Central Authority will assign a Public Prosecutor to present the case to the court.  However, the Public Prosecutor does not represent the left-behind parent who submitted the Hague Abduction Convention application; instead, the Prosecutor represents Turkey and submits the request for return on behalf of the Turkish Central Authority.  The parent or legal guardian who has submitted the application may hire a private attorney in Turkey to join the Prosecutor in presenting the Hague Abduction Convention case.  A privately hired attorney should contact the Turkish Central Authority as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed with the Turkish Central Authority.

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law at.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

Mediation

The Office of Children’s Issues is not aware of any government or private organizations in Turkey that offer mediation services for custody disputes. 

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Last Updated: June 1, 2015

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Ankara
110 Atatürk Blvd.
Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara
Turkey
Telephone
+(90) (312) 455-5555
Emergency
+(90) (312) 455-5555
Fax
+(90) (312) 466-5684
Email
Turkey Map