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What Is Apostille Convention?

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

In order for a document or decision taken from the official authorities of a foreign country to be valid in Turkey, that foreign decision, court decision or document like notary deed must be approved by the Turkish consulate or authority in the country where it was issued.

For instance, in order for an administrative or judicial document obtained from the Cuban State to be valid in Turkey, this official document must be approved by the Turkish Embassy or Consulate in Cuba. In other words, for a court decision or document taken in Turkey to be valid in a foreign country, it must be approved by the consulate of that country in Turkey. If we give an example to this, if a notary document obtained from Turkey is desired to be used in Brazil, this notary document must be approved by the Brazilian Embassy in Turkey.

The Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (“Apostille Convention”) provides this process to be faster. As it is stated the resources of Hague Conference on Private International Law, main advantages of the Convention are as follows:

  • Abolish the traditional requirement of legalization,

  • Replacing the often long and costly legalization process with the issuance of a single Apostille certificate by a Competent Authority in the place where the document originates”.

The purpose of this contract in the Convention itself is stated as “To ensure that the official documents issued in one of the contracting countries are used in another contracting country without the approval of the diplomatic or consular representatives, bypassing the approval procedure”. In other words, citizens are facilitated in official documents to be used between the contracting countries.

The countries prepared a multinational convention called "The Hague Convention on the Removal of the Obligation of Certification of Foreign Official Documents" on 05.10.1961 in order to remove this requirement of approval by their foreign missions regarding the validity of these foreign documents and decisions in the other country, and they wanted to remove this approval condition.

According to the agreement, the decisions and documents taken in the contracting countries will be valid in the other country, without the need for the approval of the country representative to be used in order to be valid in the other country. Apostille annotation “This document, along with this apostille, is true and correct, its content is correct. It can be used in the institutions of the party country”.

The validity of judicial, administrative or commercial documents taken from countries that are not a party to the Apostille agreement, unless there is a bilateral agreement, will definitely require the approval of the Turkish foreign representative in that particular country. For the documents, it will be necessary to get approval from the authorized representative of the relevant country in Turkey. Cases where Turkey has removed the requirement for approval through bilateral agreements are exceptions and will be further specified below.

In some countries one do not need Apostille. However, there is countries that are not a party to Apostille Convention and not a party to bilateral agreements on bypassing the approval process. Since this Convention is an agreement in which all parties benefit objectively, it should be emphasized that more countries should become parties because there is a faster and cheaper process.


Apostille Convention:


Av. Ferhan Yıldızlı

Av. Bahar Şahin



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