Local officials in Turkey cap bride prices to encourage marriage

Following the devaluation of the Turkish lira, five neighbourhood headmen in the district of İdil in the Kurdish-majority province of Şırnak have taken the initiative to place a cap on bride prices in the area in order to allow young people to marry, left-nationalist news site OdaTV said.

Hidayet Sakçak, the headman of Turgut Özal Neighbourhood, said the ever-increasing range of traditions and demands, including the requirement that the groom’s family set up a household for the young couple, had put the cost of marriage beyond the reach of many young men’s families.

“White goods and furniture are 40,000-50,000 lira ($7,500-$9,500) as well,” he said. “Young people can no longer marry. That creates problems both between young people and with their families.”

Those seeking marriage often went deeply into debt to cope with the costs, the headmen’s statement said.

In order to save the institution, the statement prescribed that the bride price required of the groom be limited to two 30-gram gold bracelets, one 1.5-metre, 60-gram gold chain, one pair of earrings, two rings, and 100 lira in cash.

The headmen also asked that the measure be introduced throughout the province.