I heard over the news yesterday that Ruffa has decided to finally call it quits (in public, at least) with her erstwhile hubby Ylmaz Bektaş. The two were the subjects of a really lavish wedding reception that had almost the entire Philippine showbiz media swooning for months on end. The wedding itself was held somewhere else (Las Vegas, perhaps? The Wikipedia article on Ruffa claims that she was married in Manila but I distinctly remember the elaborate ceremony everyone was gushing about at the Fort being declared as an engagement party, with the wedding to be held somewhere in Turkey).
You see, I got married on May 23, 2003, and the Bektaş-Gutierrez wedding was the news of the day. Many a gossip columnist came in their pants over how lovely the self-dubbed most pretentious woman on the planet was that night. None of these gossip columnists swooned about how handsome I was on my wedding night, but that doesn’t really matter. My marriage still exists. Ha!
What got my attention was that they decided to call it quits because it just wasn’t working out – cultural differences, the press release said. According to the news report, Ruffa was telling all her media outlets through buckets of tears that she’s filing an annulment. Unfortunately for Ruffa, cultural differences are not among the grounds in the Family Code which would support an annulment case. Also, she’s had two children with Yilmaz so that throws all other grounds for annulment out the window. Maybe she’s filing a nullity case instead, grounded on psychological incapacity (hers?) but that’s all speculation at this point. If she is filing for psychological incapacity, she’s got an uphill war to wage.
It does say on Ruffa’s blog that she has since converted to Islam, and so she’s governed by Shari’a law as interpreted in the Philippines under the Code of Muslim Personal Laws (PD 1083). We recognize divorce for those practicing Islam, but the property rights resulting from such a marriage are so different from what you and I know. However, for the Muslim Code to apply, the marriage must be solemnized according to Islamic law or PD 1083.
On the other hand, Yilmaz is Turkish, and divorce is recognized in Turkey. Yilmaz could file for divorce in Turkey and that would be recognized here under international comity. However, Turkish civil divorces are frowned upon in the Turkish Civil Code, and the grant of the divorce decree must be with the concurrence of the State. In other words, it may be as hard to get a civil divorce there as it is to have the marriage annulled here, especially when there are property issues and children involved.
I find it really funny that Ruffa’s press handlers did not give any indication that the marriage was anywhere near splitsville when the fit hit the shan. The way Ruffa’s playing her cards, she’s really coming up like K-Fed (who like Ruffa, played the happy and supportive spouse until news of the split broke). The way the spin is being handled on this one, it seems like Ruffa wasn’t the one who left the marriage. She could be doing a Kris here, but then again, if Yilmaz was bonking someone else, why should she expect otherwise? Aren’t they allowed FOUR wives in Islamic law? Maybe this is the cultural difference Ruffa was talking about. Who knows?
One thing’s for sure, though: a “romantic” wedding does not a long and lasting marriage make.