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The Journey of Gender Transition in Turkey: Legal Steps and Medical Procedures for Foreigners

Discover comprehensive process of gender transition in Turkey for foreigners, exploring the legal conditions and medical procedures involved. Understand the steps required, from obtaining court permission to gender confirmation surgery, as well as the recognition of foreign judgments.


In recent years, the field of modern medicine has shown remarkable progress, embracing not only physical health but also mental well-being. Recognizing the importance of mental health in addition to physical aspects, the medical community now supports gender transition operations as part of its ongoing reforms. Turkey, a country rich in history and culture, has implemented legal provisions for gender transformation, catering not only to its citizens but also to foreigners residing within its borders. In this article, we will explore the process of gender transition for foreigners in Turkey, outlining the conditions and steps required to undergo this transformation.

Understanding Gender Transition in Turkey

Gender transition, also known as sex reassignment or gender confirmation, is the process through which an individual aligns their gender identity with their physical characteristics. In Turkey, this transformative process is recognized and facilitated by the law under specific conditions.

The Conditions for Gender Transition in Turkey

Before applying for gender transition, foreigners residing in Turkey must fulfill several conditions stipulated by the Turkish Civil Code. These conditions include:

Being Over 18 Years Old:

To be eligible for gender transformation, the individual must be at least 18 years old, regardless of their legal status as an adult.

Not Being Married:

Married individuals are prohibited from changing their gender due to the implications for family institutions. Additionally, same-sex marriages remain prohibited in Turkey, further complicating the process for married individuals.

Being Transsexual:

The law necessitates the presence of transsexual features as a requirement for gender transformation. These features must be verified and documented by a qualified medical professional.

Report From a Medical Board:

Those seeking gender transformation must obtain a comprehensive report from a medical board. This report should encompass the individual's mental and physical condition concerning transsexuality and state the necessity of gender confirmation surgery for that specific person.

The Application Process for Gender Transition

Once the aforementioned conditions are met, the foreign candidate can proceed with the application for gender transition. The process involves the following steps:

Application Submission:

The individual must submit their application to the Court of their residence in Turkey. This application should include all necessary documents and reports supporting their case.

Court Permission:

Upon review of the application and relevant documents, the Court will assess the case and grant permission for gender transformation if all conditions are met.

Gender Confirmation Surgery:

With the court's approval, the individual can proceed with the gender confirmation surgery. This surgery is a crucial step in the gender transition process, aligning the individual's physical characteristics with their gender identity.

Post-Surgery Medical Report:

After undergoing the gender confirmation surgery, the individual must obtain another medical report from their doctor, confirming the success and necessity of the surgical procedure.

Rectification of Civil Registry

Following the completion of the gender confirmation surgery and obtaining the post-surgery medical report, the individual can apply for the rectification of their civil registry. This step involves the following:

  • Permission for Name Change: Along with gender transition, individuals may also choose to change their name. Before doing so, they must first obtain permission from the court.

  • Civil Registry Update: Once the court grants permission, the individual can proceed to update their civil registry information to reflect the changes in gender and name.

Recognition and Approval of Foreign Judgments on Gender Transformation

In certain instances, foreigners in Turkey may have undergone gender transition in their home country and wish to have their new gender recognized in Turkey. Recognition and approval of foreign judgments on gender transformation are subject to specific conditions outlined in the MÖHUK Article 50.

Compliance with Turkish Law:

The foreign judgment must not contradict the Turkish legal order. If the judgment goes against Turkish law or falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of Turkish courts, recognition may be denied.

Agreement of Reciprocity or Tradition:

To request recognition and approval, there must be a basis of reciprocity or a tradition of recognizing and enforcing foreign judgments on gender transformation.


In conclusion, the process of gender transition for foreigners in Turkey is a well-regulated and legally supported procedure. Understanding the conditions set forth by the Turkish Civil Code is essential for a smooth transition. From obtaining court permission to undergoing gender confirmation surgery and updating the civil registry, each step is crucial in ensuring a successful transformation. For foreigners who have already undergone gender transition in their home country, the recognition and approval of foreign judgments can facilitate the acknowledgment of their new gender identity within Turkey's borders. As modern medicine continues to value mental health alongside physical well-being, Turkey's progressive approach towards gender transformation stands as a testament to its commitment to inclusivity and support for all individuals seeking to live authentically.

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