Turkey: No foreign surname, says court

The New Anatolian, Nov 19 2005

Ankara, Turkey -- After converting to Buddhism, person files to change name from H.A to Padmapani Paramabindu, but Court of Appeals rejects change

A person's petition to change their name and surname after converting to Buddhism was rejected yesterday by the Court of Appeals.

The case was filed by a person identified by the initials H.A, who wished to change their name to Padmapani Paramabindu, a practice common amongst those who covert to Buddhism. The local court registered the person as a Buddhist on their ID and accepted the change.

Upon an appeal to the decision, the case was sent to the Court of Appeals and the court ruled that the change violates the law.

The decision noted that according to the Law on Surnames, foreign names can't be used as surnames and the new surname should be Turkish, so changing the person's name to Paramabindu violates the law.

The Court of Appeals overruled the local court's decision.