Since the adoption of the Republican Civil code in 1926, based of the Swiss Civil Code, Turkish males can marry only one woman at a time. It is forbidden by law in Turkey to marry before the age of 15 in the case of females and 17 in the case of males. Early marriages are more frequent in the rural areas than in the cities, where the education, military service, acquiring a profession and other factors tend to delay marriages. In rural areas, marriages are generally in line with the wishes or approval of the families involved whereas in cities it is generally the couple themselves that make the decision to marry.
After the proclamation of the Republic under the leadership of Atatürk, women were granted contemporary social rights and became equal in status to men. In 1930, women were given the right to elect and be elected to the assemblies in the municipalities and the parliament. Equality before the law, which is one of the essential principles of the Turkish Constitution, also applies to both sexes.