quill.gif (3183 bytes)

Ünal Tekeli v. Turkey , judgment of 16 November 2004, no. 29865/96, §§ 59-61, 66

Facts: The applicant was a Turkish national who took her husband's surname after her marriage with him. She continued using her maiden name in her professional life. She could not use both names together on official documents however. Turkish law was reformed in 1997 to allow married women to put their maiden name in front of their husband's name. However, the applicant sought to bear her maiden name alone as her surname.

: the applicant claimed that the refusal by the domestic courts to allow her to bear only her maiden name violated her right to protection of her private life guaranteed by article 8 of the European Convention and that she had been discriminated against in that married men could continue to bear their own family name after they married, relying on Article 14, taken together with Article 8 of the Convention.

Holding: the ECHR found a violation of article 14 taken in conjunction with article 8 of the Convention.

Reasoning: there was a "difference in treatment" on grounds of sex between persons in an analogous situation. The Turkish Government's aim to give the husband's surname to the family to preserve tradition and family unity by having the same name was not a decisive factor and sufficient reason to justify the interference.  


Human and Constitutional Rights Resource Page

Comparative Bills of Rights ||Equality Rights