Nearly 1 out of 5 marriages in Turkey ends in divorce

The institution of the family, which many consider to be the nucleus of society, is under threat by the rising number of divorces in Turkey.

Research carried out in the past year in Turkey has revealed that nearly one in five married people get divorced, a fact which might be due to the late marriages that usually come with life in cities, relationships that are lived freely over social media and to prominent examples of bad marriages.

According to analysts, this recent trend could be caused by television serials, changing norms in society and the fact that both parties in a quarreling couple see themselves as right. Lawyers believe that the rise in divorces stems more from economic problems and marital unfaithfulness facilitated by widespread social media access.

A total of 70 percent of the cases that are currently before family courts are about divorce. Only 20 percent of the cases end in a reconciliation of the couple.

Based on the data provided by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat), 120,117 couples got divorced in 2011, while the figure rose to 123,325 in 2012 and to 125,305 last year. Divorce is most common in the Aegean region, while the rate of divorce is lowest in central and eastern Anatolia. Among provinces, with 27,000 divorces last year, Istanbul comes out as the province where the number of divorces is highest.

Experts underline that a “I’m right!” attitude among married couples is one of the main causes of divorce, as well easy communication with strangers over Twitter and Facebook. Some psychologists have alleged that scenes of cheating and separation of married couples in television serials ensure that some viewers perceive the issue as ordinary.

Those who think they have been unjustly treated also tend to walk out of the marriage. “People have an image about themselves in their heads. In the subconscious, we believe that we deserve to be treated in a certain way. We perceive behavior that is not compatible with the image we have in our subconscious as an injustice and we protest against this,” psychologist Zafer Akıncı told Today’s Zaman.

According to Akıncı, scenes of couples cheating on each other in soap operas and on television negatively affects married couples’ perception of the institution of marriage. Alleging that such scenes create the impression that the cheating person is actually right in his or her behavior, Akıncı said that exposure to these examples can cause loyalty between married couples to diminish.