A Muslim woman who sued to overturn her country’s ban on matrimonials from Muslims filed a divorce petition in Istanbul, but she now says the process has stalled after a Turkish court overturned the ban.
In September, the Constitutional Court overturned a lower court ruling that ruled the ban on female marriage in Turkey unconstitutional, citing a ban against Sharia law, a Muslim belief system that bans women from having any kind of relationship with men other than husbands and fathers.
The ruling came amid a growing backlash against the ban in Turkey, which has been plagued by a wave of deadly attacks targeting Muslims, including a deadly attack in the country’s capital Ankara in 2016 that killed more than 30 people.
A month after the ruling, the Turkish government launched a sweeping campaign to crack down on Islamic matrimons, including banning them and imposing penalties on anyone who is in a relationship with one.
In December, the government banned Muslim women from marrying outside the Islamic faith, while Muslim men are allowed to marry women who adhere to Sharia.
On Tuesday, the Istanbul district court ruled that the divorce was invalid, the first in Turkey.
The court said the woman, who did not give her name, was not entitled to divorce because the couple was not married, nor was she entitled to child support.
The woman said she was “deeply shocked” by the court’s ruling and was seeking a divorce, but said she would not stop her lawsuit against the Turkish state.
“I am not leaving the court,” the woman said.
“I’m waiting for the final judgment.”
The woman, a lawyer and a mother of four, said her family was deeply affected by the ruling.
“Our life is now being disrupted,” she said.
“Our family is not here to stay.
We will leave.
We want to leave our children behind.”
The court’s decision means the Turkish women can no longer legally marry outside the religion and the court will have to issue an order to overturn the divorce.