Leaders of a local aşiret (tribe) in the southeastern province of Şırnak have agreed, in conjunction with local officials, to do away with the obligatory wedding dowry required for a couple to get married, citing rising costs that limiting the number of those able to do so.
The decision was made by the Batuyan tribe and signed as an agreement with local political officials. The age-old tribal system still exerts significant power and influence in certain southeastern provinces of the country.
“Previously, for an engagement ceremony, at least 15 animals were sacrificed, and this cost close to 20,000 TL. At weddings, that number jumped up to 30, and the cost was in the range of 50,000 TL. Due to the high prices of gold, most of our youth are unable to marry. The prices of the gold that was being purchased was around 160,000 to 167,000 TL. Recently, one of our young people took their own life. We were very sad and came to this decision," said muhtar (elected neighborhood leader) Nezir Bertan of the area's Nasırhan quarter.
As it is very common for gold coins and jewelry to be purchased for the bride and groom by guests at weddings in Turkey, the decision also limited the number of gold that could be bought.
An area jeweler said that he thought the decision was quite proper, adding that 100,000 TL was spent for weddings in the past.
Another local, Ahmet Saltan, said that he thought the decision was a very positive one: “For all young adults, this is very good news. I hope that because of this decision all young adults who want to get married will be able to do so.”