Turkey is one of the top tourist destinations in the world and attracts over 50 million visitors each year.  Straddling Europe and Asia, the land that makes up this nation of 83 million people sits at the crossroads of many ancient civilizations, making Turkey a must-visit destination for American tourists interested in historical sites and culture.

While Turkish culture and civilization itself is also very ancient, Turkey is a developed and youthful country with gleaming new infrastructure and a 21st century economy whose companies are engaged in business all over the world.  Turkey has a brand-new airport (Istanbul Airport), a modern subway system (Istanbul Metro), modern highways, and plenty of beautiful new shopping

Turkey’s tourism sector has been flourishing in recent years due to the government’s efforts to develop a national strategy (called Tourism Strategy of Turkey – 2023) to attract 75 million visitors to the country by 2023.  Turkey has long been a popular tourist destination for Russian, German, British, Dutch, and French visitors seeking out relaxation and sunshine at seaside resorts along the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea coasts; and the country’s economic and cultural capital—Istanbul—is often considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The government’s strategy builds upon this foundation of core attractions—like seaside resorts and historical sites—with the development of activity-based travel such as health and thermal tourism, golfing, yachting, winter tourism, ecotourism, and conference tourism.  Turkey is also a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons, especially for Russians and couples from Middle Eastern countries.  Couples from Europe, India, Pakistan, and even China, have been increasingly choosing Turkey as the location for their wedding and honeymoon in recent years.

The process of getting married in Turkey is relatively straightforward, and the country offers plenty of beautiful and scenic venues for this occasion.  Thanks to the multitude of gorgeous beaches, seaside resorts, and mountain retreats, couples will have plenty of options for a relaxing honeymoon.  Antalya—the largest Turkish city on the Mediterranean Coast and hub of the Turkish Riviera—is the most popular spot for international couples to get hitched, however, Bodrum, Fethiye, Marmaris, Muğla, and Istanbul are also popular wedding destinations.

Turkey and COVID-19

COVID-19 has brought havoc to the world by putting millions of people out of work and upending the global economy.  The travel industry has been brought to a standstill and many hotels, tour companies, travel agencies, and even airlines, will go out of business this year and the next.  Governments around the world have been paralyzed and countries have closed their borders to foreign visitors.

Fortunately, some countries have taken a more pragmatic approach toward this crisis and are introducing measures to keep people traveling; Turkey of course, is one of those countries that has remained open for business and has continued to welcome foreign visitors.  The Turkish government has developed The Safe Tourism Certificate Program—a plan to ensure that hotels and tours operators are safe for international visitors.

While the effectiveness of such government-led schemes can be debated, these initiatives at least bring about some form of compromise and signal to the public that life will move forward.  No matter the program or idea that is imposed by the government, individuals will always need to decide what is best for them and their families.

Turkey’s willingness to keep their country open to Americans and other foreign visitors during this difficult time is commendable, especially when we consider that many traditional allies of the United States have completely banned Americans from stepping foot inside their borders.  This has made life difficult for those involved in an international relationship and who are trying to see their love one.

The bottom line for those wanting to reunite with their fiancé and get married: you can do it in Turkey!

Entry Requirements for Turkey

Americans traveling to Turkey require a valid U.S. passport that does not expire within 6 months of entry into Turkey.  You must also apply for an electronic visa. This visa will be valid for 180 days and allows you to make multiple visits to Turkey within this period.  Your stay cannot exceed 90 days per visit.  The government fee for U.S. citizens is $50, plus a service fee of $1.50.

The process of applying for the visa is simple and will take about three minutes to complete online—just have your passport in hand and fill out a few personal details on the official government site: https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/.  The government will email you the visa as soon as you make payment.

You will print out this document and carry it with you on the day of your trip.  You will present this document along with your passport to the immigration official at the airport in Turkey.  A COVID-19 test is not required, and you do not need any other health documentation.  The most up-to-date entry requirements for Turkey can be found here: https://tr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-2/

If you are planning to meet your fiancé in Turkey, and they are a citizen of another country, you can check the FAQ section of the government website to determine if they are eligible for the electronic visa: https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/info/.

Citizens of certain countries do not require a visa for Turkey.  A good place to start your research is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Turkey, but please check other sources to determine the latest entry requirements, or just check with our company, Visa Supply.

We also recommended printing out a copy of your hotel or Airbnb reservation that has your name written on it, and clearly shows the address of where you will be staying.  You will need this address for filling out the information form (passenger locator form) that will be given to you on the airplane.  You can also show this address to your taxi driver when you leave the airport.

Documents Required for Marriage in Turkey

Foreigners can marry in Turkey and the marriage certificate will be recognized internationally.  As stated on the US consulate website: “marriages in Turkey must be performed under the authority of the Turkish Civil Code to be legally recognized.   Religious ceremonies are not legally recognized.”

In other words, a marriage in Turkey that is recognized by law (and recognized internationally) is conducted as a civil ceremony and performed by a local government official, as opposed to a religious ceremony that is conducted by a pastor, imam, rabbi, etc.

Although the ceremony will not happen at a place of worship, but instead will happen at a public place (such as a beach, a park, hotel, etc.) or at a government designated wedding hall, the event can still be as grandiose and elaborate as any religious ceremony, or it can be very casual and simple; it just depends on your preference.

The most important matter that must be taken care of when planning a marriage in Turkey is making sure to bring all the necessary documents with you from your home country before starting this journey.

This can be a multi-step process of first obtaining the affidavit from the county or state where they live, which declares they are single and free to marry.  This document will then be certified by the foreign ministry of that country, and then the document will be certified again by the embassy of Turkey in that country.

This is a process better known as getting the documents “legalized” so they can be recognized in Turkey, which requires getting an “apostille” from the embassy of Turkey.  They will likely need to have their birth certificate, affidavit of eligibility to marry, and name change document (if their name is different from their birth certificate) translated into Turkish by a certified translation office and legalized by the embassy of Turkey.

Only after going through this process can the documents be used by the local authorities in Turkey for the civil marriage.  Many people often use a service company to get their documents legalized, but it is possible to do this process on your own.

We can help you with all the legal documentation assistance


Here is an outline of the tasks that will need be handled—please be aware the procedures may vary slightly depending on where you get married in Turkey, so this is not an exhaustive list. We can assist and arrange all necessary documents for you.

  • Visit the U.K. embassy or consulate to obtain the Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry (You can schedule the appointment before your arrival into Turkey so you do not waste time).
  • Medical examinations are required (this includes a blood test) and will be performed by the medical clinic designated by the specific marriage bureau handling your ceremony (the fee for the examination will be around $30 per person).
  • You will need to have your marriage affidavit authenticated and your other documents translated into Turkish and notarized by local government officials (total fee will be around $200 – $300).
  • You will reserve a time slot for the ceremony at the wedding hall with the marriage bureau (total fee will be around $150 – $200).

You will also need to have two witnesses attend the marriage ceremony (the witnesses cannot be close relatives), and you must have a translator present because the ceremony will be conducted in Turkish.

The marriage process can be handled within a two-week period, but this requires proper planning and ensuring all your documents are accurate.

We Can Help if You Need Assistance

While getting married in Turkey in not complicated, having to navigate this process in a foreign country can be intimidating.  Although people in Turkey are generally welcoming and accommodating, most people you will encounter at the government offices do not speak English, so it will be much easier if you have a Turkish friend or translator acting as your guide.

We have an experienced team that can help with this entire process to ensure your marriage in Turkey is done correctly from start to finish.  We will personally escort you to the government offices to complete all the necessary documents and serve as your translators.  We can also guide you through the entire experience, from booking your hotel accommodations in Turkey to helping plan your honeymoon.  Just fill out the contact us form on our website or schedule an appointment through our website if you have questions about our services.