The ways of drawing testament in Turkey

drawing a will in Turkey
testament in Turkey

As as addition to our article about registration of inheritance rights in Turkey, we would like to share the information about the ways of drawing a will.

We often receive the questions connected with the testament from elderly people who choose Turkey as a country of residence after being retired. In this article we will briefly discuss whether the will which has been made in another country is valid in Turkey, and the three possible ways of drawing the testament.


There are three ways to draw the will in Turkey:

1) Issuing official testament in the notarial office in the presence of two witnesses. Witnesses will need to confirm that the testator has expressed the will freely, being of sound mind and disposing memory, fully understanding the content of the testament. The document will be stored at the notary.

2) Handwritten will. Such document shall be written only in the hand of the testator from the beginning till the end, contain the full date (year, month and day) and signature.

3) Verbal will. This method is used if there is a threat of the testator's death, or if there is no possibility to draw a will in the notarial office or write by hand. The testator has the right to express the will to two witnesses, which should immediately provide the content of the verbal testament to the Magistrate's court (Sulh Hukuk Mahkemesi).

Of course the most reliable and valid way is the official way of making a will.

Another important issue requiring consideration is whether a will drawn abroad is valid in Turkey?

Execution of a will is carried out according to such principle of Roman law as «LOCUS REGIT ACTUM». According to this principle, a will is valid if its form complies with the legislation of the testator's country, or the country where the will is drawn. This rule was adopted in CONVENTION ON THE CONFLICTS OF LAWS RELATING TO THE FORM OF TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITIONS (05.10.1961). Turkey is one of the member countries of the Convention, so a will, which form is acceptable according to the Turkish legislation, is valid on the territory of the Turkish Republic and can be applied to the assets of the testator in Turkey.

Opening and reading a will is made in the court of the country where it was drawn up, after the court's decision can be recognized and enforced in Turkey. The announcement of wills drawn up in Turkey is made in the Magistrate's Court (Sulh Hukuk Mahkemesi).

If you have any questions on registration the rights of inheritance in Turkey, please contact our office for a free consultation.