is an Association which exists since the earliest times of history and has great
importance on life of human. Marriage as a term is a continuous union of a man
and a woman as husband and wife under all kinds of conditions of life. That
family is the foundation of the social structure has attached the event of marriage
ensuring this unity a universal character. The event of marriage which has been
realised in everywhere of the World in accordance with certain rules and patterns
each phase of them envisaged by the type of culture to which its bound has
been showing a rich table particularly in terms of celebration, customs, common
usage and tradition.
It is necessary
that a number of preparations and phases have to be performed and followed up
in order to realise the marriage. Phases of marriage incorporate also religious
and superstitious practices. At each phase implementation of rich accepted practices,
customs, common usage and traditions has become obligatory, almost they became
rules and principles which manage and direct the marriage. Each and every society,
in compliance with certain rules and patterns conforming to their pattern of
culture, has been executing the event of marriage. Phases of marriage complete
with distinct and very rich customs in every region, province and even in every
village of Turkey will be tried to be described by generalising them in
Kinds of Marriage:
in Turkey marriage within relatives was common. Today such kind of marriages
have not been practised so much due to impact of urbanisation.
Another kind of
marriage is that in case of death of a brother, marriage of a single or widower
brother in law with widow sister-in law. (Levirat) In preference of such kind
of marriage the purpose is not to allow properties go out after death of brother
as well as situation of children. Similarly it is also possible when sister
dies sister-in law takes the place of her sister (Sororat).
type of marriage is “taygeldi” marriage. In this marriage while widow can marry
widower, marriage of sons and daughters with one another is also possible.
Types of marriage
through kidnapping a girl have been taking an important place. It is possible
that girl and boy run away on mutual agreement in addition to a girl is kidnapped
by force. In some regions, there is also a type of kidnapping girl and marriage
called custom of “oturakalma”. In this type of marriage girl goes home of the
man that she loves and settles there.
type of marriage which was often practised in the past is “beşik kertme”. While
children were yet in their cradle their engagement was made. In the past rejection
of marriage by girl and boy when they reach their age of marriage put the family
in difficult situation and caused experience of bloody events. This type of
marriage has not been often practised today.
Another kind of
marriage experienced in Turkey is marriage of “iç güveysi”. In this marriage
man settles in the home where woman lives.
Usually in case
of inability to pay the necessary amount of money for the girl and absence
of a son on the part of the family of woman to perform their works this type
of marriage is preferred.
In another type
of marriage called “Berder” or “değiş-tokuş, değişik” ( exchange, changing)
a family with daughter and son gives and takes girl to/from another family who
has son and daughter. Such kind of marriages release the obligation to pay money
to the bride’s family (Başlık).
type of marriage procedure is however marriage of a girl whose marriage age
expired with a widower. It is also possible that a single man who was unable
to marry because of various reasons may marry a widow.
According to Turkish
traditions marriage between foster brothers and foster sisters is not possible.
Children who suck breasts of mothers of one another are considered as brother
and sister according to the religion.
some regions marriage with more than one wife at the same time (polygamy) has
been also practised. That wife unable to have a baby or she is invalid, sick
is the cause for such kind of marriage. In this case solemnised marriage is
on the first wife and children from the other wife is registered on the first
Age of Marriage:
Although age of
marriage varies according to regions today in areas where traditions are observed same
has been varying between age of 17-22 for men, in some places it has been sought
that men should complete their military service, and in some places however
it becomes important for men to marry before their performance of military service.
Similarly in the traditional section girls marry between 17-20, age difference
between women and men varies between 4-5 years. Keeping the order of sequence
in marriages has been still effective in some regions.
marriage society did not entitle women and men the same right. Man and his
family takes initiative in this situation, but woman and her family remain
passive. The first step comes from man and his family.
Act of go-between
(Görücülük), To Ask a Girl’s Hand in Marriage:
the traditional section marriage process starts with seeing and looking for
a girl. Families who want to marry their sons begins looking for girl firstly
starting from their relatives, neighbours, close friends. In this matter their
neighbours and relatives also help them in their effort.
In great cities
of Turkey where cultural changes are more effective marriages through directly
meeting and agreement have been gradually spreading; and “Görücülük” has been
still the main type of marriages which are witnessed at places where traditional
procedure is more effective. “Görücülük” is that several women elected among
members of family of the man wants to marry, relatives and neighbours pay a
visit to the home of the girl who was formerly proposed by relatives and examine
the girl closely and reveal their intention. This procedure is called “seeing
a girl, to send woman to see girl, woman sent out to inquire about a prospective
bride” (“kız bakma”, “görücü çıkma”, “dünür gezme” in Turkish).
their affirmative judgement about the girl time is granted to the prospective
bride’s family both for their thinking and gathering information about the prospective
bridegroom. As the result of affirmative agreement by both parties task of such
persons come to end. Inasmuch as the fact that the work of seeing prospective
bride is done by women in the process of asking the girl's hand in marriage
assume the duty as well.
In the process
of asking the girl’s hand in marriage care is taken to include among those who
will visit the prospective bride’s family such respectful persons who could
not be refused by the bride’s family, together with close relatives of the prospective
bridegroom’s family. Because the prospective bride’s family is reluctant, visit
for asking the prospective girl’s hand in marriage is repeated several times.
to marry (söz kesimi) follows the process of asking the prospective bride’s
hand in marriage. Both families who reached an agreement by way of “Dünürcülük”
(women sent out to inquire about a prospective bride) agree on marriage before
crowded guests, which is called “Söz Kesme” (agreement to marry). Engagement
is completed by attaching a ring and an embroidered kerchief bought by the prospective
bridegroom’s family. In some regions “Söz kesimi” is also called small engagement
ceremony. Sweet dessert (ağız tatlılığı) brought by prospective bridegroom’s
family is distributed to guests immediately after agreement by both parties
to marry their children. Even today in some regions the prospective bridegroom
is not present at the time of this ceremony.
to the attitude of the prospective bride’s father the bridegroom who is present
in the bride’s home and the prospective bride both kiss hand of guests. Thus
ceremony held for agreement to marry is completed.
In this meeting
jewellery to be bought for the bride and amount of money to be paid to the bride’s
family or amount of money to be paid for the pride’s mother are decided in an
agreement. Today, in various regions the tradition for receiving money from
father of bridegroom has ceased to exist, but instead of it a certain amount
of money changing according to poorness or richness of the family, which is
given to the bride’s mother as called “mother’s share” has been given.
step coming after the ceremony for agreement to marry is engagement. Engagement
ceremony is held in the bride’s home. Costs of engagement in some regions are
borne by the bridegroom’s family.
the date for engagement ceremony an invitation called “invitation to neighbours”
is made. Guests who gather together on the day of engagement in the bridegroom’s
home go to the bride’s home. In the traditional sections of the community women
and men separately sit in the bride’s home, and after having lunch jewellery
called “takı” is given to the bride who dressed in special dress for engagement
ceremony by her mother-in law and relatives of the bridegroom . In some areas
the bridegroom does not come to the bride’s home. In this case engagement ring
is worn by the bride via a woman coming from the bridegroom’s home. In an engagement
ceremony where the bridegroom is present rings worn by the bride and bridegroom
are placed by an old man on ring fingers of their right hand with accompaniment
of standard words and wishes.
is known that residence of towns rich and susceptible cultural changes rent
wedding hall for engagement ceremony and women and men sit together during
celebration of engagement. In cities however this celebration is performed more
No definite rule
is imposed for period of engagement. This period depends upon agreement of both
sides. While it is considered natural that engaged couples may meet each other
in cities, in districts preserving traditional proceedings such meetings are
allowed only through
of members of the family or some one may accompany them. In case of breaking
off an engagement it has not been so easy for girl and man to marry others in
the same area. If the party who broke off the engagement is the girl all jewellery
given as wedding present must be returned back. If the man’s family break off
the engagement nothing is returned.
are generally start on Tuesday and end on Thursday, or start on Friday and end
on Sunday. Costs and expenses of wedding are met by the bridegroom’s family.
Despite differences in accordance with various locations wedding may be classified
mainly as planting a flag, women’s entertainment of the night next before the
wedding day the bride’s fingers freshly tinged with henna (Kına Gecesi), fetching
the bride, bride’s veil.
the wedding as is done in the course of engagement ceremony invitation is distributed
and everybody is invited for the wedding. While the bride’s family tries to
complete preparations for trousseau, the bridegroom’s family tries to complete
articles which required to be bought for the bride and which have been previously
A wedding flag
is planted by men coming from the noon prayer and friends of bridegroom at the
bridegroom’s home. At some regions such thins as apple, onion, mirror, etc.
are placed on top of the flag. Thus the wedding gets started.
Night Next Before
The Wedding Day, A Women’s Entertainment Where Bride’s Fingers Are Freshly Tinged
With Henna ( Kına Gecesi):
night in which the bride will be together with her family, relatives and friends
all of which are women is just before the day of fetching bride as known the
main wedding day. This night which is called “Kına Gecesi” is celebrated in
the bride’s home. The bridegroom’s family and other guests are met and hosted
in the bride’s home.
Usually dry henna
brought by the bridegroom’s family is broken to pieces in a silver or cupper
vessel by a woman whose father and mother alive, not experienced any separation.
After preparing the bride, veil ornamented with red flake is placed over her
head, and she is brought into the middle with accompaniment of hymn, folk songs
about henna. Hands and feet of the bride are dyed with henna. The bridegroom’s
side is under the obligation to put money in the hand of the bride. Dying ceremony
of henna is different according to regions. The henna so dyed has such names
and types as “iplik kınası” (henna for yarn), “sıvama” (smearing), “kuşgözü”
After leaving woman
who came together for dying henna close friend of the bride remain with her
and enjoy themselves till morning.
some of our regions henna dying ceremony for bridegroom is also held in the
Process To Fetch
The Bride (Gelin Alma):
This day is named
as “Gelin Alma” (to fetch the bride), “kız alma” (to fetch girl), “gelin götürme”
( to carry the bride), etc. Everybody is invited to fetch the bride. Guests
go to fetch the bride on foot if not far, or by cars if too far to go. In some
regions the bridegroom has not been allowed to accompany the bridal procession.
Wedding flag, drum-pipe is included in the bridal procession. In some regions
the bride is prepared by elderly women (yenge) who help and attend the bride,
but today generally in hair dresser, and then she is taken by those who came
from the bridegroom’s side.
Belt” (Bekaret kuşağı) is tied around the Bride’s waist by her brother or her
close relative and then the bride says good-by to those who stay in home. The
bridegroom’s family, having paid money for chest and money for door, causes
the bride to get into the car.
around the village with the accompaniment of drum-pipe the wedding procession
arrives in the home of the bridegroom. Mother-in law gives a gift to the bride
when she comes in front of the door. After sequence of implementations believed
to affect humour of the bride, the bride in the bridegroom’s arm is taken inside.
After a while the bridegroom is taken out by his friends to bring him back at
night. After bridegroom’s shaving, bath and dressing ceremonies the bridegroom
is taken to the mosque for prayer at night (Yatsı Namazı) and then he is brought
back home with ceremony. Religious marriage ceremony is performed
the bride and the bridegroom who is brought with accompaniment of hodja (preacher).
Upon performance of this celebration which confirms the marriage the bridegroom
is allowed to enter the nuptial chamber.
An elder woman
in the nuptial chamber causes the couple to hold each other’s hand. The bridegroom
performs his ritual prayer, and then opens the bride’s face after giving her
present to see her unveiled face. They eat the meal offered by the bride’s family.
traditional communities virginity is extremely important. A certain mark is
sought. Absence of such mark is the cause for the bride to be sent back. The
elder woman who comes to make the bed receives the money left by the bridegroom.
In some regions
in the morning of the night of the nuptial chamber the bride is elaborately
dressed and a ceremony is held with participation of women only. This is called
“duvak” (veil), “gelin ertesi” (after the day of bride), “gelin sabahı” ( morning
of the bride). In this ceremony the bride is caused to dance, her sheet is showed
to those who are present. This is a tradition which has been no longer practised
in some regions today.