Turkish man discovers new bride has been married for ten years

This story had wrongly carried an image of a bride who bore no relation to the news piece. We apologise for this error. 

Each unhappy family may be unhappy in its own way, but few spouses have the bad luck of having to apply to a criminal court after discovering their marriage was a sham.

That was exactly the predicament faced by 32-year-old İsmail Doğan from Turkey’s central province of Sivas after he married G. Taşdemirova, a 26-year-old Azeri woman.

The couple were greeted by fireworks and cheers from the crowd as they tied the knot in a religious ceremony, but months later Doğan, after becoming suspicious that his new wife kept avoiding making their marriage official at a registry office, discovered Taşdemirova was already married - and had been for 10 years.

Doğan met Taşdemirova on holday in the Turkish Black Sea town of Karamürsel, where she was living with her family, and the two became engaged after he was introduced by relatives.

Soon enough, his fiancee’s family was asking Doğan for money, at first customary amounts for the dowry and other traditions. Yet soon enough, Taşdemirova’s family had racked up 60,000 Turkish lira ($10,957) out of Doğan’s pocket.

“When I began to get suspicious I said let’s go through with the civil ceremony, but she said she was too ill. She said she had become depressed and started treatment for that. I began to think she would run away and went to the police station for help, and it was there I learned she had been married for 10 years,” said Doğan.

At that point, Taşdemirova returned to Karamürsel. Doğan has decided to press charges. “I don’t want her to do the same thing to anyone else,” he said.

In Turkey, although religious marriage ceremonies are commonplace, only civil marriages have legal standing.