Individual Application Türkçe

(H.K. [GK], B. No: 2019/42944, 17/6/2021, § …)
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Deciding Body Plenary Assembly
Decision/Judgment Type Merits (violation)
(H.K. [GK], B. No: 2019/42944, 17/6/2021, § …)
Case Title H.K.
Application No 2019/42944
Date of Application 25/12/2019
Date of Decision/Judgment 17/6/2021
Official Gazette Date/Issue 22/9/2021 - 31606
Press Release Available



Right Alleged Violation Conclusion Redress
Right to respect for private and family life Private life (name and surname) Violation Re-trial


Type of legislation Date/Number of legislation - Name of legislation Article
Law 27



Press Release No: Individual Application 65/21

Press Release concerning the Judgment Finding a Violation of the Right to Respect for Private Life due to the Denial of the Request for the Change of Name


On 17 June 2021, the Plenary of the Constitutional Court found a violation of the right to respect for private life safeguarded by Article 20 of the Constitution in the individual application lodged by H.K. (no. 2019/42944).


The Facts

The applicant brought an action against the Civil Registry Office in accordance with Article 27 of the Turkish Civil Code no. 4721, requesting the change of his name. In this regard, the applicant stated that his name was known as D. in his social environment as he was using this name, that he was a transgender person, that he faced difficulties due to the different name stated in official records, and that his not having yet undergone a gender reassignment surgery was not an obstacle for changing his name.

The applicant’s case was dismissed by the civil court of first instance (“civil court”). It was stated in the reasoning of the decision, whereby Article 40 of Law no. 4721 was relied on, that D. was a female name and that the applicant had not yet undergone a gender reassignment surgery. The regional court of appeal dismissed the applicant’s appeal with final effect.

The Applicant’s Allegations

The applicant claimed that his right to respect for private life had been violated due to the denial of his request for changing his name.

The Court’s Assessment

Pursuant to Article 27 of the Turkish Civil Code no. 4721, in order for a person to bring an action for changing her/his name, there must be reasonable grounds. The impugned provision stipulates no requirement for a gender reassignment surgery to change one’s name. In fact, the Court of Cassation also stressed the requirement for the existence of reasonable grounds in such cases.

In the present case, the inferior courts required the applicant to undergo a transgender surgery in order for him to be entitled to request the change of his name. Article 40 of Law no. 4271 relied on by the inferior courts stipulates the conditions whereby the request for gender reassignment shall be accepted and the necessary change shall be made in the register of personal status after the performance of gender reassignment surgery. Application of the said provision, which contains no clause regarding the change of name, as well as its having been relied on as a ground for dismissing the applicant’s request for the change of his name cannot be considered as a relevant and sufficient ground.

Furthermore, it is clear that the applicant provided information about his social life, explained the reasons why he needed such a change and made the relevant request for changing his name in line with these explanations. However, the inferior courts apparently failed to provide relevant and convincing reasons as to whether the applicant’s said request was justified.

Considering as a whole, it seems that the inferior courts failed to interpret, in compliance with the Constitution, the rules applicable in terms of the applicant’s request for the change of his name that was an integral part of a person's existence and identity as well as constituted an important means in his private life and in his relations with his family and friends.

It has therefore been concluded that the State failed to fulfil its positive obligations concerning the right to respect for private life, since the inferior courts failed to make an assessment in the particular circumstances of the case regarding the change of name. Nor did their decisions contain relevant and sufficient grounds complying with the constitutional guarantees.

Consequently, the Court has found a violation of the right to respect for private life.

This press release prepared by the General Secretariat intends to inform the public and has no binding effect.

  • yazdir
The Constitutional Court of the Turkish Republic