Ongur Partners https://www.ongurpartners.com Tue, 25 Jan 2022 11:45:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.9 TÜRKİYE’DE MARKA TESCİLİ https://www.ongurpartners.com/turkiyede-marka-tescili.html Tue, 25 Jan 2022 11:45:18 +0000 https://www.ongurpartners.com/?p=5036 TÜRKİYE’DE MARKA TESCİLİ   GİRİŞ Günümüzün gelişen ticari imkanları neticesinde, ticaret hayatındaki sınırlar kalkmış ve yerel şirketlerin dahi küresel ölçekte faaliyette bulunmaları mümkün hale gelmiştir. Bu çerçevede, özellikle iletişim ve bilişim imkanlarının geliştiği günümüzde, para ve işgücü gibi geleneksel sermaye değerlerinin yanında marka, görünürlük, tanınırlık gibi birtakım soyut unsurların da işletmeler açısından öneminin artmaya başladığı […]

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TÜRKİYE’DE MARKA TESCİLİ

 

  1. GİRİŞ

Günümüzün gelişen ticari imkanları neticesinde, ticaret hayatındaki sınırlar kalkmış ve yerel şirketlerin dahi küresel ölçekte faaliyette bulunmaları mümkün hale gelmiştir. Bu çerçevede, özellikle iletişim ve bilişim imkanlarının geliştiği günümüzde, para ve işgücü gibi geleneksel sermaye değerlerinin yanında marka, görünürlük, tanınırlık gibi birtakım soyut unsurların da işletmeler açısından öneminin artmaya başladığı söylenebilir.

Bu kapsamda, esasen çok eski zamanlardan itibaren ticari hayata mündemiç bir mekanizma olan marka ve markanın hukuki koruması günümüzde her zamankinden daha çok önem arz etmektedir. Bu yazımızda Türk Hukuku bağlamında marka tescili hakkında bilgi vermek ve tescilin Türkiye’de sağladığı korumaları incelemek amaçlanmıştır.

  1. MARKA KAVRAMI

 

Marka, “bir teşebbüsün ürettiği veya ticaretini yaptığı malları ya da sunduğu hizmetleri diğer teşebbüslerin ürettiği mal veya sunduğu hizmetlerden ayırt etmeye yarayan işaret” biçiminde tanımlanabilmektedir. [1] Marka hakkı, Türk Hukukunda Sınai Mülkiyet Kanunu’nda düzenlenmektedir. Hukuki niteliği ile mutlak bir hak olan marka hakkı, sahibine birtakım korumalar sağlamaktadır. Kanunun 7. maddesinde de belirtildiği üzere bu koruma tescil ile elde edilmektedir.[2] Marka kavramı, Sınai Mülkiyet Kanunu’nun 4. maddesinde düzenlenmektedir.

 “ Marka olabilecek işaretler

Madde 4- (1) Marka, bir teşebbüsün mallarının veya hizmetlerinin diğer teşebbüslerin mallarından veya hizmetlerinden ayırt edilmesini sağlaması ve marka sahibine sağlanan korumanın konusunun açık ve kesin olarak anlaşılmasını sağlayabilecek şekilde sicilde gösterilebilir olması şartıyla kişi adları dâhil sözcükler, şekiller, renkler, harfler, sayılar, sesler ve malların veya ambalajlarının biçimi olmak üzere her tür işaretten oluşabilir.”

Hükümden de anlaşılacağı üzere diğer mal ve hizmetler bakımından ayırt edicilik sağlayan ve sahibine Sınai Mülkiyet Kanunu kapsamında koruma sağlayan marka; sözcükler, şekiller, renkler, harfler, sayılar, sesler ve malların veya ambalajların biçimi olmak üzere her tür işaretten oluşabilmektedir.

Ancak marka olarak tescil edilebilecek işaretler bu hükümde sayılanlarla sınırlı değildir. Bunların yanında kişi ad ve soyadları veya sadece biri, ve hatta kokular dahi aranan şartları sağlamak koşulu ile marka olarak tescil edilebilmektedir.

  1. TÜRK HUKUKUNDA MARKA TESCİLİ

Marka, işletmeler için piyasa rekabetinde önemli bir yere sahiptir. Marka seçimi, tasarımı, kullanımı ve tanıtımı birtakım önemli ekonomik sonuçlar yaratmaktadır. Dolayısıyla marka hakkının korunması önem arz ettiği şüphesizdir.

Öncelikle ifade etmek gerekir ki tescil, marka kullanımı için bir zorunluluk değildir. Tescilsiz markalar da genel hükümler ve haksız rekabet hükümleri altında korunmaktadır. [3] Bununla birlikte, tescilin markaların korunması açısından çok büyük avantajlar sağladığı ve aşağıda özetlenecek koruma mekanizmalarının ancak tescilli markalar açısından gündeme gelebileceği de burada ifade edilmelidir. Bir diğer ifade ile Sınai Mülkiyet Kanunu’nun sağladığı özel koruma, markanın ilgili sicile tescil ettirilmiş olma şartına bağlıdır. Marka tescili, hak sahibi için Sınai Mülkiyet Kanunu hükümleri kapsamında hakkın fiilen takibi, kayıpların telafisi ve yoksun kalınan kazançların elde edilmesini mümkün kılmaktadır. [4]

  1. MARKA BAŞVURUSU YAPILMASI VE ŞARTLARI

Marka sicili, Türk Patent ve Marka Kurumu tarafından tutulmaktadır. Marka tescil başvurusu, adına tescil ettirmek isteyen kişi tarafından bizzat veya marka vekilleri aracılığıyla gerçekleştirilmektedir. [5]

  1. Marka Başvurusunda Bulunabilecek Kişiler

Marka tescil başvurusunda bulunabilecek kişiler Sınai Mülkiyet Kanunu’nun 3. maddesinde sayılmıştır. Söz konusu hükme göre;

  • Türkiye Cumhuriyeti vatandaşları,
  • Türkiye Cumhuriyeti sınırları içinde yerleşim yeri olan veya sınai ya da ticari faaliyette bulunan gerçek veya tüzel kişiler,
  • Paris Sözleşmesi veya 15/4/1994 tarihli Dünya Ticaret Örgütü Kuruluş Anlaşması hükümleri dahilinde başvuru hakkına sahip kişiler,
  • Karşılıklılık ilkesi uyarınca, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti uyruğundaki kişilere sınai mülkiyet hakkı koruması sağlayan devletlerin uyruğundaki kişiler,

Türkiye’de marka tescil başvurusunda bulunabilmektedir. [6]

Sınai Mülkiyet Kanunu’ndaki özel hüküm gereğince marka tescilinde, Türkiye’de yerleşim yeri bulunmayan kişilerin marka vekilleri ile temsil edilmesi zorunludur. [7]

  1. Marka Başvurusunun Şekli ve İçeriği

Türk hukukunda marka koruması kural olarak tescil ile kazanılmaktadır. Tescil başvurusu kabul edilerek sicile kaydedilen marka, tescil başvurusunun yapıldığı tarihten itibaren 10 yıl süreyle korunmaktadır. Bu süre onar yıllık dönemler halinde yenilenebilmektedir. [8]

Marka tescil başvurusu ve izlenecek usul Sınai Mülkiyet Kanunu’nun 4, 5 ve 6. maddeleri ile Sınai Mülkiyet Kanununun Uygulanmasına Dair Yönetmelik’in 4 ve devamı maddelerinde belirtilmektedir.

Marka tescili için yapılmak istenen başvuru Kurum’un Markalar Dairesi Başkanlığı’na bizzat başvuru biçiminde veya posta aracılığıyla ve gerekli evraklarla yapılır. [9] Gerekli evraklar Yönetmelik’in 5, 6 ve 7. maddelerinde gösterilmektedir. Başvurunun tarihi, başvuru formu, belge ve bilgilerin Kurum’a ulaştığı tarih, saat ve dakika olarak kaydedilmektedir. Daha önce de belirtildiği üzere tescille sağlanan korumanın başlandığı başvuru tarihidir. Bu nedenle başvuru tarihinin belirlenmesi önemlidir.

  1. Marka Başvurusunun İncelenmesi

Marka başvurusunun incelenmesi Sınai Mülkiyet Kanunu’nun 15. maddesi ve Yönetmelik’in 8. maddesinde belirtilen esas ve usullere göre yapılmaktadır. Kanun’un 15. maddesi uyarınca başvurunun 3 ve 11. maddelere şekli bakımdan uygunluğu incelenir. Şekli eksiklik tespit edilmemesi halinde başvuru, başvurunun alındığı tarih, saat ve dakika itibariyle kesinleşmiş sayılır. Eksiklik tespit edilirse başvuru sahibine eksikliği tamamlaması için iki aylık süre verilir. Süresi içerisinde eksikleri giderilmeyen başvuru işlemden kaldırılmaktadır. Bu nedenle işlemden kalkan bir marka başvurusunun daha sonra tekrar tescil başvurusuna konu olmasına bir engel yoktur.

Şekli bakımdan incelenmesi tamamlanan ve kabul edilen marka başvurunda esas bakımından incelenmeye geçilmektedir. Esasa ilişkin inceleme öncelikle Sınai Mülkiyet Kanunu madde 5’e göre yapılmaktadır. Bunlar mutlak ret nedenleri olarak adlandırılmakta ve Kurum tarafından re’sen incelenmektedir. Mutlak ret nedenleri Kanunun 5. maddesinde sınırlı sayıda düzenlenmiştir.  Söz konusu inceleme sonucunda mutlak ret nedenlerinden bir veya birkaçına rastlandığı takdirde başvuru reddedilmektedir. Bu ret nedenlerine dayanılarak başvurunun reddedilmesi halinde başvuru sahibinin karara itiraz hakkı vardır.

Mutlak ret nedenleri bakımından incelemede bir aykırılık görülmemesi durumunda marka başvurusu Marka Bülteni’nde ilan edilmek suretiyle üçüncü kişilerin itirazlarına sunulmaktadır. Marka Bülteni’ne ilan edildikten sonraki iki aylık süreçte Sınai Mülkiyet Kanunu’nun 6. maddesinde düzenlenmiş bulunan nispi ret nedenlerine göre inceleme yapılmaktadır. Bu nedenlere dayanılarak yapılan itirazların haklı bulunması durumunda başvuru reddedilmektedir. İtirazların yerinde görülmemesi durumunda söz konusu itiraz reddedilmektedir. Bu hallerde aleyhine karar verilen başvuru sahibi veya itirazı reddedilen itiraz sahibi bu kararlara tekrar itiraz hakları vardır. Yapılacak olan bu itirazlar Yeniden İnceleme ve Değerlendirme Kurulu tarafından karara bağlanmaktadır. Söz konusu bu karar nihai karardır ve bu karara karşı yalnızca iptal talebiyle mahkemeye başvurulabilmektedir. YİDK kararı sonucunda markanın tesciline bir engel bulunmuyorsa, marka sicile tescil olunarak Marka Bülteni’nde ilan edilmektedir. [10]

  1. MADRİD PROTOKOLÜNE GÖRE MARKA BAŞVURUSU

Türk Patent ve Marka Kurumu yalnızca doğrudan başvuruları değil, uluslararası başvuruları da kabul etmektedir. Ülkemiz 5/8/1997 tarihli ve 97/9731 sayılı Bakanlar Kurulu Kararı ile uluslararası marka başvurusu sistemine katılmıştır. Bu nedenle Markaların Uluslararası Tescili Konusundaki Madrid Sözleşmesi ile ilgili Protokol kapsamında yapılana bir uluslararası başvuru, Kurum’a doğrudan yapılan bir marka başvurusu ile aynı sonuçları doğurmaktadır. Söz konusu protokole göre yapılan başvuruların usulü Yönetmelik’in 25-27. maddelerinde düzenlenmiştir. [11]

  1. SONUÇ

Sınai Mülkiyet Kanunu istisnai olarak tescilli olamayan markalar için de koruma sağlayabilmektedir. Özellikle kullanım ile ayırt edicilik kazanmış markalar ve Paris Sözleşmesi kapsamında tanınmış markalar tescilli olmasalar dahi korumadan yararlanabilmektedir. Ancak bu durum özel ve istisnaidir. Dolayısıyla bu kapsama girmeyen tescilsiz markalar Sınai Mülkiyet Kanunu’nun sağladığı özel korumanın kapsamı dışında kalacaktır. [12] Bu nedenle markanın tescili önem kazanmakta ve piyasa rekabetinde marka sahibine ek güvenceler getirmektedir.

Her ne kadar marka kullanımı için tescil bir zorunluluk olmasa da tescilin marka sahibine tanıdığı korumalar yadsınamayacak düzeydedir. Benzer markaların özellikle tescilini önleme, rüçhan hakkı elde etme, haksız ve izinsiz kullanımlarda tecavüz davası açma imkanı vermesi ile bu durumların kanıtlanabilmesi hususunda marka sahibine kayda değer ayrıcalıklar sağlamaktadır. Marka sahibinin markasını tescilinde hukuki ve ekonomik yararının bulunduğu unutulmamalı ve mutlaka bir avukat veya marka vekili ile iletişime geçilmelidir.

 

 

 

 

[1] ÇAĞLAR, H.; YILDIZ, B.; İMİROĞLU, D.; Marka Vekilliği Sınavına Hazırlık, 3. Baskı, s. 49

[2] 6769 Sayılı Sınai Mülkiyet Kanunu madde 7/1

“Marka tescilinden doğan hakların kapsamı ve istisnaları

Madde 7- (1) Bu Kanunla sağlanan marka koruması tescil yoluyla elde edilir.”

[3] GÜNEŞ, İlhami, Uygulamalı Marka Hukuku, 2. Baskı, s. 6

[4] GÜNEŞ, İlhami, Uygulamalı Marka Hukuku, 2. Baskı, s.61

[5] ÇAĞLAR, H.; YILDIZ, B.; İMİROĞLU, D.; Marka Vekilliği Sınavına Hazırlık, 3. Baskı, s. 73

[6] 6769 Sayılı Sınai Mülkiyet Kanunu madde 3

“Korumadan yararlanacak kişiler

MADDE 3- (1) Bu Kanunla sağlanan korumadan;

  1. a) Türkiye Cumhuriyeti vatandaşları,
  2. b) Türkiye Cumhuriyeti sınırları içinde yerleşim yeri olan veya sınai ya da ticari faaliyette

bulunan gerçek veya tüzel kişiler,

  1. c) Paris Sözleşmesi veya 15/4/1994 tarihli Dünya Ticaret Örgütü Kuruluş Anlaşması

hükümleri dâhilinde başvuru hakkına sahip kişiler,

ç) Karşılıklılık ilkesi uyarınca, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti uyruğundaki kişilere sınai mülkiyet

hakkı koruması sağlayan devletlerin uyruğundaki kişiler,

yararlanır.”

[7] 6769 Sayılı Sınai Mülkiyet Kanunu madde 160/3

“İşlem yetkisi olan kişiler ve tebligat

MADDE 160- (3) Yerleşim yeri yurt dışında bulunan kişiler ancak marka veya patent vekilleri tarafından temsil edilir. Vekille temsil edilmeksizin asil tarafından gerçekleştirilen işlemler, yapılmamış sayılır.”

[8] 6769 Sayılı Sınai Mülkiyet Kanunu madde 23/1

“Koruma süresi ve yenileme

MADDE 23- (1) Tescilli markanın koruma süresi başvuru tarihinden itibaren on yıldır.

Bu süre, onar yıllık dönemler hâlinde yenilenir.”

[9] GÜNEŞ, İlhami, Uygulamalı Marka Hukuku, 2. Baskı, s.62

[10] ÇAĞLAR, H.; YILDIZ, B.; İMİROĞLU, D.; Marka Vekilliği Sınavına Hazırlık, 3. Baskı, s. 77-78

[11] GÜNEŞ, İlhami, Uygulamalı Marka Hukuku, 2. Baskı, s.66-68

[12] ÇAĞLAR, H.; YILDIZ, B.; İMİROĞLU, D.; Marka Vekilliği Sınavına Hazırlık, 3. Baskı, s. 61

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LITIGATION UNDER TURKISH LAW https://www.ongurpartners.com/litigation-under-turkish-law.html Fri, 07 Jan 2022 13:58:38 +0000 https://www.ongurpartners.com/?p=5023 LITIGATION UNDER TURKISH LAW Introduction  Turkey is one of the increasingly important destinations for commerce, travel as well as investment with significant opportunities. Since Turkey is an important commercial hub as such, the possibility of disputes over which Turkish courts are competent to resolve are quite high under the conflicts of law rules. The main […]

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LITIGATION UNDER TURKISH LAW

Introduction 

Turkey is one of the increasingly important destinations for commerce, travel as well as investment with significant opportunities. Since Turkey is an important commercial hub as such, the possibility of disputes over which Turkish courts are competent to resolve are quite high under the conflicts of law rules. The main code that regulates lawsuits involving foreigners and foreign elements in Turkey is the International Private and Civil Procedure Law.  In addition, depending on the individual case, other legislation can also be applied to the underlying dispute.  This article looks into the procedural rules of litigation in Turkey within the framework of Turkish Private Law. 

How to file a lawsuit in Turkey?

First Step:  Analysis of the Dispute and Drafting the Petition

Before filing a lawsuit before Turkish courts, the correct analysis of the concrete dispute between the parties is one of the most important issues to consider. According to Turkish Law, courts can hear a case only if it is authorized by law. Basically, the Turkish judiciary has three branches: criminal, civil, and administrative. If a criminal act is at issue, the victim can sue before the criminal courts. 

An administrative lawsuit can be filed before administrative courts against an unlawful act or transaction of the administration to revoke such measure as well as claim damages. As an example, in the area of public procurement, administrative courts adjudicate cases regarding public tender procedures, as well as disputes arising from administrative acts such as prohibition from participating in public tenders. It should however be stated that, under the relevant law, once an administrative authority and a real or legal person enter into a public procurement contract following the completion of the tender procedure, the administrative court is no longer competent. This is because contracts executed subject to the Public Procurement Contracts Law are legally deemed as private contracts between two parties, and in case of disputes, civil courts have jurisdiction over them. 

Civil courts have jurisdiction to resolve cases involving private law issues, which are the most common cases between trading foreign and local parties. For instance, a foreign party that is unable to collect its receivables from a local party should file a lawsuit before the civil courts. 

The civil courts hear the cases based on their area of specialization, as regulated under Turkish Law. Accordingly, in the Turkish legal system, civil courts are divided as follows: 1. Courts of General Jurisdiction, 2. Courts of Peace, 3. Commercial Courts 4. Labor Courts 5.  Family Courts 6. Enforcement and Execution Courts 7. Consumer Courts 8. Cadastral Courts 9. Civil Courts for Intellectual and Industrial Property Rights 

The Civil Courts of General Jurisdiction are the courts that have the widest jurisdiction over civil law disputes, and therefore,  there is at least one civil court of general jurisdiction in any jurisdictional area; whereas the specialized courts are mainly found in larger jurisdictional areas in Turkey. Thus, in the event that there is no specialized court at the place where the lawsuit must be filed according to the rules of jurisdiction, the courts of general jurisdiction are competent to hear the case in the capacity of that specialized court.

 

In addition to the above, the civil court of general jurisdiction is the competent court for the recognition and enforcement (“tanıma ve tenfiz”) of foreign judgments and arbitral awards. The same way in almost all jurisdictions worldwide, foreign court decisions and international arbitral awards need to obtain a recognition and enforcement decision by Turkish Courts to become enforceable in Turkey. Consequently, those who wish to have their foreign judgments enforced in Turkey must first file a lawsuit for their recognition or enforcement, and then apply to the execution offices with the enforcement decision. 

 

Civil commercial courts handle commercial disputes and those that arise between merchants.  When real or legal person merchants doing business in Turkey have a legal dispute with their Turkish counterparts, such as breach or unlawful termination of the contract,  then the commercial courts are competent to resolve the conflict.

Apart from the correct determination of the competent court for the underlying dispute, case analysis is also crucial for deciding on the claims to be submitted to the court. It is very important that the claims are determined in a precise and clear manner. This is because, in Turkish law, claims and defenses cannot be expanded beyond the first petition subject to few exceptions.

 

Second  Step: Submission of the Petition to the Court and Payment of Court Fees

A lawsuit is filed when the petition is submitted to the competent court, and the legal fees and expenses are deposited with the court’s offices. Under  Turkish Law, there is a dual juridical fee structure, consisting of proportional fees or fixed fees. The fees and expenses are determined based on the title of the parties (consumer, merchant etc.), the subject of the case, and the amount of dispute. 

 

In addition to that, due to Turkish Law, the party who relies on a certain evidence must pay the expenses relating to the evidence.  For instance, if a party would like to rely on an expert report, she/he must pay for such expert’s expenses. 

Apart from the above, foreign parties involved in a Turkish lawsuit are also subject to a security fee requirement. Security fee can be defined as a sum of money to be paid to the court’s offices, usually in the amount of 10-20% of the disputed amount, to be able to file a lawsuit by foreign real or legal persons. That being the case, if there is an agreement between Turkey and the state of residence of the foreign plaintiff, or if, in practice,  the reciprocity principle applies, the foreigner may be exempted from payment of the security fee.

Third Step: Petition of Reply, Expert Report, Witnesses

The respondent has to submit its reply within two weeks following the service of the petition according to Turkish Law. After the petition of reply, if deemed necessary, the court forwards the case file to the expert/panel of experts,  hears the witnesses, examines the new submissions. The parties can object to the expert report and statements of witnesses etc. During this phase, the parties attend hearings and expert examinations in certain specific situations.

Fourth Step: Decision

When the court completes its examination, it renders a judgment.  Every court judgment  must include the reasoning of the judges and indicate the time period and procedure of appeal. The party against whom the court decides can appeal the decision within the prescribed time-limit, whereas the other party declared rightful by the court can proceed with enforcement and execution. In Turkish Law, in principle, appealing a court decision does not suspend the execution, subject to limited exceptions. However,the appealing party may request suspension of the execution to the Appeal Court by depositing a security fee to the execution offices, in which case execution is suspended until the appellate court renders its decision. 

 

Litigation in Turkey, briefly summarized above, is governed by a complex set of procedural rules that are subject to changes from time to time. This makes it necessary to carefully assess the relevant cases and determine the correct legal strategy to achieve timely and favourable results in litigation which can be a lengthy process. Therefore it is recommended to always obtain competent legal assistance before filing a lawsuit in Turkey to avoid any loss of rights.   

 

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TEREKE TESPİT DAVASI VE TESPİT EDİLEN TEREKENİN PAYLAŞTIRILMASI https://www.ongurpartners.com/3286.html Wed, 20 Oct 2021 14:05:00 +0000 https://www.ongurpartners.com/?p=3286 TEREKE TESPİT DAVASI VE TESPİT EDİLEN TEREKENİN PAYLAŞTIRILMASI     Murisin terekesinin büyüklüğü, murisle mirasçı arasında yakınlığın bulunmaması veya murisin borçlarının ve alacaklarının tam olarak saptanamaması gibi durumlarda murisin terekesinin tespiti ve bu nedenle mirasçılara intikal edecek olan mal varlığının tespiti doğrudan mümkün olmayabilmektedir. Bu nedenle, bu gibi durumlarda mirasçılara intikal edecek terekenin tam ve […]

TEREKE TESPİT DAVASI VE TESPİT EDİLEN TEREKENİN PAYLAŞTIRILMASI yazısı ilk önce Ongur Partners üzerinde ortaya çıktı.

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TEREKE TESPİT DAVASI VE TESPİT EDİLEN TEREKENİN PAYLAŞTIRILMASI

 

 

Murisin terekesinin büyüklüğü, murisle mirasçı arasında yakınlığın bulunmaması veya murisin borçlarının ve alacaklarının tam olarak saptanamaması gibi durumlarda murisin terekesinin tespiti ve bu nedenle mirasçılara intikal edecek olan mal varlığının tespiti doğrudan mümkün olmayabilmektedir. Bu nedenle, bu gibi durumlarda mirasçılara intikal edecek terekenin tam ve doğru olarak saptanabilmesi için tereke tespit davası açmak gerekmektedir. Bunun yanında tespit edilen terekenin mirasçılara, miras payları oranında intikal etmesi de ayrı bir hukuki sorun teşkil etmektedir. Bu yazıda tereke tespit davası ve terekenin tespitinden sonra terekenin mirasçılara geçişine ilişkin genel esaslar ele alınacaktır.

 

Tereke Tespit Davası

 

Mirasın açılmasıyla birlikte murise ait tüm hak ve borçlar kendiliğinden mirasçılara intikal eder. Ancak murise ait hak ve borçların mirasçılara tam olarak intikali zaman almaktadır. Bu dönem içinde terekenin zarar görmemesi ve terekenin değerinin belirlenmesi için tereke tespit davası açılabilir.[1]

Yargıtay 14. Hukuk dairesi 2016/6394 E. ve 2019/5096 K. sayılı kararında “Dava, Türk Medeni Kanununun 589. ve devamı maddelerinde yer olan “koruma önlemi” olarak ölüm tarihi itibariyle terekeyi oluşturan unsurları belirlemek, böylece olası ihtilaflarda başvuru kaynağı oluşturmak, bu sayede terekenin içeriği ile ilgili ölüm anındaki durumu öğrenme imkânını elde etmeye yönelik olarak terekede bulunan mal ve hakların tespitine ilişkindir.“ demek suretiyle tereke tespiti davasının hukuki nitelendirmesini yapmıştır. Yine Yargıtay 8. Hukuk Dairesi 2013/13009E. 2014/17643K. sayılı kararı da tereke tespiti davasının hukuki niteliğine değinmiş ve anılan kararında tereke tespiti davasının bir istihkak davası değil ve delil tespiti niteliğine sahip olduğunu belirtmiştir.[2]

 

Tereke tespit davası kimler tarafından açılabilir?

 

Bu davayı mirasçıların her biri bir diğerinin rızasına gerek duymadan açabilir.

 

Tereke tespit davasında görevli mahkeme hangisidir?

 

6100 Sayılı Hukuk Muhakemeleri Kanunu’nun 382. maddesinin 2.fıkrasının (c) bendi uyarınca terekenin tespiti çekişmesiz yargı işi niteliğindedir. Hukuk Muhakemeleri Kanunu’nun 383. maddesinde düzenlediği üzere çekişmesiz yargı işlerinde aksine bir düzenleme bulunmadığı takdirde görevli mahkeme sulh hukuk mahkemesidir. Terekenin tespiti için görevli mahkemeye ilişkin özel bir düzenleme bulunmadığından 6100 Sayılı Kanun’un 383. maddesi uyarınca tereke tespiti davalarında görevli mahkeme sulh hukuk mahkemesi olacaktır.

 

Tereke tespit davasında yetkili mahkeme neresidir?

 

Tereke tespit davalarında yetkili mahkeme ise Türk Medeni Kanunu’nun 576. maddesi uyarınca belirlenecektir. Anılan maddeye göre bu davalarda yetkili mahkeme miras bırakanın ölüm tarihindeki yerleşim yeri mahkemesidir.

Tereke tespit davası ne zaman açılabilir?

Tereke tespit davasının açılabilmesi için bir zamanaşımı süresi bulunmamaktadır; dava kural olarak terekenin paylaşılmasına kadar açılabilecektir. Nitekim bu husus Yargıtay 14. Hukuk dairesi 2016/6394 E. ve 2019/5096 K. sayılı kararında “Koruma önlemi olarak terekenin tespiti işlemi, kural olarak bir süreye bağlı olmayıp, bu önlemin alınması olanaksız veya yararsız hale gelmedikçe tereke paylaşılmadığı sürece istenebilir. Çünkü, koruma önlemi olarak terekenin tespiti işleminin maddi hukuk bakımından haklara ve borçlara bir etkisi bulunmamaktadır” şeklinde belirtilmiştir.

Tereke tespit davasında mahkemenin görevleri nelerdir?

Tereke tespit davasında mahkemenin görevleri Yargıtay 8. Hukuk Dairesi 2013/13009 E. 2014/17643K. sayılı kararında şu şekilde belirtilmiştir:

“… Bu nedenle mahkemece yapılması gereken iş terekeye ait olduğu bildirilen mal varlığı unsurlarını tespit edip deftere geçirmek, bunlardan muhafazası mümkün olmayanlar varsa satıp paraya çevrilmesini sağlamak ve menkuller için de para, döviz vb. varsa bunları tereke malvarlığı olarak bankaya yatırmak; altın vb. ziynet eşyaları varsa bunları tereke mahkemesi kasasına alıp kaydetmek; diğer eşyaları ise ilgilisine veya üçüncü bir kişiye yediemin sıfatıyla teslim etmek ve böylece tespit edilen eşyaları kararda göstermekten ibarettir.”

Anılan karardan da anlaşıldığı üzere, mahkeme terekeye ait her tür mal varlığını, değerlerini tespit ederek tam ve doğru bir şekilde deftere geçirmeli, terekeye ait mal varlığı değerlerinden muhafazası mümkün olmayanları satıp bunların paraya çevrilmesini sağlamalı, taşınmazların içinde para, döviz gibi malvarlığı değerlerinin bulunması halinde bunları tereke mal varlığı olarak bankaya yatırmalı, altın gibi ziynet eşyalarının varlığı halinde bunları tereke mahkemesi kasasına alıp kaydetmeli, diğer eşyaları ilgilisine veya üçüncü bir kişiye yediemin sıfatıyla teslim etmeli ve sonuç olarak tespit edilen eşyaları kararda göstermelidir.

Tereke tespit davası sonucunda verilen kararın niteliği

Tereke tespit davası sonucunda verilen karar tedbir niteliğindedir ve bu nedenle kesin hüküm teşkil etmemektedir.[3]

Mahkemece tereke tespitinin yapılmasının ve terekenin korunması için gerekli önlemlerin alınmasının ardından, terekenin mirasçılara miras payları oranında paylaştırılması gerekmektedir. Mirasçılar aralarında anlaşarak miras paylaşma sözleşmesi yapmak suretiyle miras paylaşımını gerçekleştirebilirler. Ancak gerek mirasçıların sayısının fazla olması, gerekse kişisel menfaatlerin çatışması sebebiyle uygulamada miras paylaşma sözleşmesi ile miras paylaşımının yapılması pek mümkün olmamaktadır. Bu noktada mirasçılar yargı yollarını kullanarak ortaklığın giderilmesi davası aracılığıyla mirasın paylaştırılmasını talep edebileceklerdir. Bu yazının kapsamını bu yollardan sadece ortaklığın giderilmesi davası oluşturmakta olup bu hususa ilişkin açıklamalar aşağıda ayrıntılı olarak sunulmuştur.

 

Ortaklığın Giderilmesi Davası

Türk Medeni Kanunu’nun 599. maddesi ve 640/1. maddesi uyarınca birden fazla mirasçı bulunması durumunda bu kişiler arasında kendiliğinden ve kanundan kaynaklanan bir ortaklık ilişkisi doğmaktadır. Mirasçılar arasında bulunan bu ortaklığın hukuki niteliği, paylaşma sonlanıncaya dek elbirliğiyle mülkiyettir. Dolayısıyla mirasçılar miras payları üzerinde serbestçe tasarruf ve taahhüt işlemi yapamazlar.[4] Miras payları üzerinde taahhüt ve tasarruf işlemi yapamayan mirasçıların bu işlemleri yapabilmelerini sağlayacak olan yol ortaklığın giderilmesi davası açılmasıdır.

Ortaklığın giderilmesi davasının hukuki dayanağı, Türk Medeni Kanunu madde 642’de şöyle ifade edilmiştir:

 “Paylaşmayı isteme hakkı

Madde 642-

Mirasçılardan her biri, sözleşme veya kanun gereğince ortaklığı sürdürmekle yükümlü olmadıkça, her zaman mirasın paylaşılmasını isteyebilir.

Her mirasçı, terekedeki belirli malların aynen, olanak yoksa satış yoluyla paylaştırılmasına karar verilmesini sulh mahkemesinden isteyebilir. Mirasçılardan birinin istemi üzerine hâkim, terekenin tamamını ve terekedeki malların her birini göz önünde tutarak, olanak varsa taşınmazlardan her birinin tamamının bir mirasçıya verilmesi suretiyle paylaştırmayı yapar. Mirasçılara verilen taşınmazların değerleri arasındaki fark para ödenmesi yoluyla giderilerek miras payları arasında denkleştirme sağlanır.

Paylaşmanın derhâl yapılması, paylaşım konusu malın veya terekenin değerini önemli ölçüde azaltacaksa; sulh hâkimi, mirasçılardan birinin istemi üzerine bu malın veya terekenin paylaşılmasının ertelenmesine karar verebilir.”

Madde lafzından da açıkça anlaşıldığı üzere, ortaklığın giderilmesi davası kapsamında paylaşmanın iki şekilde gerçekleşme imkanı bulunmaktadır: malın aynen paylaştırılması veya malın satış yolu ile paylaştırılması. Mirasçılardan her biri terekenin aynen paylaştırılmasını talep edebilecekleri gibi malın aynen paylaştırılmasına olanak bulunmaması halinde terekenin satış yolu ile paylaştırılmasını da mahkemeden talep edebilecektir. Ancak, aynen taksim mümkün iken doğrudan satış yoluyla ortaklığın giderilmesinin talep edilmesi halinde davanın reddi gerekmektedir.[5]

Mahkemece satışa karar verilmesi halinde, açık artırma yoluyla satılan mallardan elde edilen meblağ mirasçılara payları oranında paylaştırılmaktadır. Satış bedelinin belirlenmesi için,  bilirkişi tarafından davaya konu olan ortaklık malı için hem dava sürecinde hem de açık arttırma öncesinde değer tespiti yapılır. Açık arttırma, bilirkişi raporunda belirtilen değere satış ve paylaştırma giderlerinin de eklenmesiyle oluşan meblağın %50’sinden başlar.[6]

Buna ek olarak, mirasçılardan birinin istemi üzerine hakim; eğer durum ve koşullar uygunsa, terekenin tamamını ve terekedeki malların her birini göz önünde tutarak, taşınmazlardan her birinin tamamının bir mirasçıya verilmesi suretiyle paylaştırmayı yapacaktır. Bu halde, mirasçılara verilen taşınmazlar arasında fark varsa, aradaki farkın diğer mirasçılar tarafından ödenmesi suretiyle hüküm kurularak denkleştirme sağlanacaktır. Ancak bu şekilde paylaşımının gerçekleşmesi için tüm mirasçıların onayı gerekmektedir. Nitekim bu husus Yargıtay 8. Hukuk Dairesi 2013/13009 E.2014/1764K. sayılı kararında              “Mirasçıların tamamının oluru alınmak suretiyle tereke malvarlığı unsurlarının bir kısmının veya tamamının bir mirasçıya teslimi de mümkündür. Mirasçıların tamamının oluru alınmadan terekenin paylaştırılması sonucunu doğuracak şekilde karar verilemez. Kuşkusuz bu şekilde tereke emanet hesabına alınan malvarlığı unsurlarının terekeye dahil olmayıp kendisine ait olduğu iddiasıyla her bir mirasçının istihkak davası açma hakkı mevcut olup; dava başarıya ulaştığı takdirde mirasçının o malvarlığı unsurunu tereke mahkemesinin kendisine teslimini istemesi imkan dahilindedir..” şeklinde belirtilmiştir.

Ortaklığın giderilmesi davası ne zaman açılabilir?

Türk Medeni Kanunu’nun 642. maddesinin 1.fıkrası uyarınca ortaklığın giderilmesi davası mirasçıların kanun veya sözleşme gereğince ortaklığı sürdürmekle yükümlü olmadıkları takdirde her zaman açılabilecektir. Bu hükümle, miras ortaklığı kanundan kaynaklanan bir ortaklık olduğu için, bu ortaklığın her zaman sona erdirilebilmesi de olanaklı hale getirilmiştir.[7]

Ortaklığın giderilmesi davasını kimler açabilir?

Türk Medeni Kanunu madde 642 gereğince mirasçılardan her biri veya vekili ortaklığın giderilmesini ilgili mahkemeden isteyebilir. Ortaklığın giderilmesi davasına bütün mirasçılar katılmak zorundadır, bu nedenle mirasçılar arasında zorunlu dava arkadaşlığı bulunmaktadır.[8]

Ortaklığın giderilmesi davasında görevli mahkeme hangisidir?

 

6100 Sayılı Hukuk Muhakemeleri Kanunu’nun “Sulh hukuk mahkemelerinin görevleri” başlıklı 4. maddesi uyarınca sulh hukuk mahkemeleri, dava konusunun değer veya tutarına bakılmaksızın taşınır ve taşınmaz mal veya hakkın paylaştırılmasına ve ortaklığın giderilmesine ilişkin davalarda görevli mahkemedir. Bu nedenle ortaklığın giderilmesi davası açmak isteyen mirasçılar bu davayı yer yönünden yetkili sulh hukuk mahkemesinde açmalıdır.

 

Ortaklığın giderilmesi davasında yetkili mahkeme neresidir?

 

6100 Sayılı Hukuk Muhakemeleri Kanunu’nun “Mirastan doğan davalarda yetki” başlıklı 11.maddesi uyarınca mirasa ilişkin açılan ortaklığın giderilmesi davası için murisin son yerleşim yeri mahkemesi yetkili mahkemedir.

 

Ortaklığın giderilmesi davasında yargılama usulü nedir?

Ortaklığın giderilmesi davası basit yargılama usulüne tabi davalardandır. Bu kapsamda davacının dava dilekçesi vermesi ve davalı veya davalıların cevap dilekçelerini mahkemeye ibraz etmeleri ile dilekçeler aşaması son bulacaktır.[9]

 

Murisin yabancı olması veya murisin terekesinin yurtdışında bulunması durumunda ne olacaktır?

Murisin yabancı olması veya murisin terekesinin yurtdışında bulunması halinde, kısacası miras uyuşmazlıklarında yabancılık unsurunun varlığı halinde Milletlerarası Özel Hukuk ve Usul Hukuku Hakkında Kanun’un ilgili hükümlerinin dikkate alınması gerekmektedir. Anılan kanunun 20. maddesi miras uyuşmazlıklarına uygulanacak hukuku göstermektedir. Bu madde kapsamında miras ölenin milli hukukuna tabidir. Ancak maddenin ikinci fıkrası bu kuralın istisnası niteliğindedir. Nitekim maddenin ikinci fıkrası uyarınca “Türkiye’de bulunan taşınmaz tereke” için terekenin bulunduğu ülke hukuku uygulanacaktır.  Bu hüküm tek taraflı bir bağlama kuralı niteliğindedir. Kısacası taşınmaz tereke Türkiye’de bulunuyorsa Türk Hukuku, taşınmaz tereke yurtdışında bulunuyorsa ölenin milli hukuku uygulama alanı bulacaktır.[10]

Açıklanan nedenlerle ölenin yabancı bir ülkenin vatandaşı olması durumunda ikili bir ayrım yapılması gerekecektir. Bu ayrıma göre ölenin Türkiye’de bulunan taşınmaz terekesi haricindeki tüm malvarlığına ölenin milli hukuku, Türkiye’de bulunan taşınmazı hakkında ise Türk Hukuku uygulanacaktır. Ölenin yabancı olup Türkiye’de taşınmaz terekeye sahip olmaması halinde ise miras için sadece ölenin milli hukuku uygulama alanı bulacaktır. [11]

MÖHUK’un 20. Maddesinin 1.fıkrası uyarınca uygulanacak hukuk için önemli olan miras bırakanın milli hukukudur, mirasçıların vatandaşlıklarının uygulanacak hukukun tespitine herhangi bir etkisi bulunmamaktadır. Bu nedenle mirasçıların yurt dışında bulunması veya mirasçıların Türkiye dışındaki bir ülkenin vatandaşlığına sahip olmaları durumunda yukarıdaki açıklamalarımızda bir değişiklik olmayacaktır.[12]

MÖHUK m.20/1’deki hükmün istisnasını 20/2 hükmü oluşturmaktadır. Bu madde hükmü uyarınca mirasın açılma sebepleri, mirasın iktisabı ve mirasın taksimi hususlarında terekenin bulunduğu ülke hukuku uygulama alanı bulacaktır. Anılan maddede 20/1’den farklı olarak ölenin milli hukuku değil, terekenin bulunduğu yer hukuku temel alınmıştır. Bu nedenle Türkiye’de bulunan tereke mevcut ise mirasın açılması, iktisabı ve taksimi konularında Türk Hukuku uygulanacaktır.

Bununla birlikte, ifade etmek gerekir ki, MÖHUK m.20/2 hükmünün kapsamına Türk Medeni Kanunu’nda düzenlenen mirasın açılması, mirasın iktisabı veya mirasın taksimi hususlarının tümü girmemektedir. TMK’da düzenlenen mirasa ilişkin hususların niteliği dikkate alınarak bunların m. 20/1’in mi, yoksa m. 20/2’nin mi kapsamına girdiği değerlendirilmelidir.  Örneğin, ortaklığın giderilmesi davası mirasın taksimi kapsamında yer aldığından, bu davalara ilişkin olarak terekenin bulunduğu ülke hukuku uygulanacaktır. Bu nedenle murisin yabancı ülke vatandaşı olduğunun kabulü halinde dahi, tereke Türkiye’de ise Türk Hukuku uygulama alanı bulacaktır. Aksi durumda ise, yani murisin Türk vatandaşı olması ve terekesinin yurt dışında bulunması halinde, ortaklığın giderilmesi davasında Türk Hukuku uygulanamayacaktır.

Uygulanacak hukukun tespitinden sonra yabancılık unsuru içeren miras davalarında yetkili mahkemenin tespiti gerekmektedir. Bu husus Milletlerarası Özel Hukuk ve Usul Hukuku Hakkında Kanun’un 43. maddesinde düzenlenmektedir. Anılan hüküm uyarınca miras davaları ölenin yerleşim yerinin Türkiye’de olması halinde ölenin yerleşim yeri mahkemesinde, ölenin yerleşim yerinin Türkiye’de olmaması halinde ise terekenin bulunduğu yer mahkemesinde görülecektir.

 

Sonuç olarak, miras paylaşımı ve buna ilişkin davalar, her hukuki durumda olduğu gibi hukuki bilgi ve yeterlilik gerektiren durumlardandır.  Özellikle yabancılık unsuru içeren miras uyuşmazlıklarının çözümü için uluslararası hukuk yetkinliğinin ve bu alanda teknik bilgiye sahip olmanın büyük önemi bulunmaktadır. Bu kapsamda, miras uyuşmazlıklarının bir avukat vasıtasıyla takip edilmesi hak kayıplarının önüne geçerek adil bir paylaşım yapılması hususunda mirasçılara önemli ölçüde fayda sağlayacaktır. Uluslararası miras hukukuna ilişkin davalarda tecrübe ve uzmanlık sahibi Ongur&Partners Uluslararası Hukuk Bürosu bu konuda uzun yıllardır danışmanlık, dava takibi ve diğer hukuki hizmetleri sunmakta olup konuya ilişkin ayrıntılı bilgi edinmek için hukuk büromuzla temasa geçmekten çekinmeyiniz.

 

[1] KILIÇOĞLU, Ahmet, Miras Hukuku, 11.Basım, Ankara, s.264

[2] Yargıtay 8. Hukuk Dairesi 2013/13009 Esas ,2014/17643 “…Tereke tespiti davaları delil tespiti niteliğinde olup, istihkak davası niteliğinde değildir.”

[3] Bkz. Yargıtay 14. Hukuk Dairesi 2015/10189 Esas 2017/2637 Karar sayılı Kararı: “Ortaklığın giderilmesi davası, çekişmeli olarak görülürken terekenin tespiti talebi, çekişmesiz yargı işidir. Ortaklığın giderilmesi davasında taşınmazın bulunduğu yer mahkemesi kesin yetkili iken, terekenin tespiti davasında miras bırakanın yerleşim yeri mahkemesi kesin yetkilidir. Ortaklığın giderilmesi davası sonucunda verilen hüküm, nihai hüküm niteliğinde olmasına karşın terekenin tespiti davası sonucunda verilen hüküm, tedbir niteliğinde olup nihai hüküm teşkil etmez.”

[4]  KILIÇOĞLU, Ahmet, Miras Hukuku, 11.Basım, Ankara, s.307

[5]  ERDOĞAN, Hasan, Ortaklığın Giderilmesi (İzalei Şuyu) Davaları, Adalet Yayınevi, Ankara, 2008, s.323

[6]  ATEŞAĞAOĞLU Erdem, ELGİN Ceyhun, Ortaklığın Giderilmesi (İzale-i Şüyu) Davaları:Taşınmaz Satışları İçin İstatiksel Bir Analiz, Online erişim: http://tbbdergisi.barobirlik.org.tr/m2018-139-1809, s.230

[7]  ERGÜNE, Mehmet Serkan, Terekedeki Münferit Mallar İçin Kısmi Paylaşma Davası Açma İmkanının Değerlendirilmesi, Online erişim: https://dergipark.org.tr/tr/download/article-file/333970  s. 1071

[8] ATEŞAĞAOĞLU Erdem, ELGİN Ceyhun, Ortaklığın Giderilmesi (İzale-i Şüyu) Davaları:Taşınmaz Satışları İçin İstatiksel Bir Analiz, Online erişim: http://tbbdergisi.barobirlik.org.tr/m2018-139-1809, s.224

[9] ATEŞAĞAOĞLU Erdem, ELGİN Ceyhun, Ortaklığın Giderilmesi (İzale-i Şüyu) Davaları:Taşınmaz Satışları İçin İstatiksel Bir Analiz, Online erişim: http://tbbdergisi.barobirlik.org.tr/m2018-139-1809, s.229

[10] ŞANLI, Cemal, Milletlerarası Özel Hukuk, 3.Bası, İstanbul, 2014, s.205

[11] ŞANLI, Cemal, Milletlerarası Özel Hukuk, 3.Bası, İstanbul, 2014, s.206

[12] ŞANLI, Cemal, Milletlerarası Özel Hukuk, 3.Bası, İstanbul, 2014, s.206

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DO YOU NEED TO DEPOSIT A GUARANTEE/SECURITY TO FILE A LAWSUIT IN TURKEY? https://www.ongurpartners.com/do-you-need-to-deposit-a-guarantee-security-to-file-a-lawsuit-in-turkey.html Tue, 27 Jul 2021 10:22:41 +0000 https://www.ongurpartners.com/?p=3280 Do you need to deposit a guarantee/security to file a lawsuit in Turkey?   When non-Turkish citizens or non-residents file a lawsuit  or initiate enforcement proceedings in Turkey against a Turkish citizen or resident, and lose the case in the end, the counterparty is exposed to the risk that it may not be able to […]

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Do you need to deposit a guarantee/security to file a lawsuit in Turkey?

 

When non-Turkish citizens or non-residents file a lawsuit  or initiate enforcement proceedings in Turkey against a Turkish citizen or resident, and lose the case in the end, the counterparty is exposed to the risk that it may not be able to collect the losses and legal fees it has incurred because of the legal action taken against it. In order to avoid this situation, under Turkish Law, a security mechanism is foreseen for non-Turkish citizens or non-residents in Turkey.

 

 

Security deposit to be paid by non-Turkish citizens:

 

Legal proceedings concerning disputes involving a foreign element are regulated in the International Private and Procedural Law numbered 5718 and dated 27 November 2007 (“IPPL”). Pursuant to Article 48/1 of the IPPL,

“Foreign real and legal persons who file a lawsuit, participate in the lawsuit or pursue enforcement proceedings in a Turkish court; have to deposit the guarantee to be determined by the court in order to cover the costs and losses of the other party with the litigation expenses.”

Accordingly, in order to be able to file a lawsuit or initiate enforcement proceedings in Turkey, foreign real and legal persons must deposit an amount as security that is sufficient to cover the expenses and potential losses of the other party .

 

Security deposit to be paid by non-resident Turkish Citizens:

 

Pursuant to Article 84 for Code of Civil Procedure numbered 6100 (“CCP”), if a Turkish citizen who does not have a habitual residence in Turkey files a lawsuit, participates in a lawsuit as an intervening party, or pursues enforcement proceedings, a suitable security must be deposited to cover the probable litigation expenses of the defendant. The security amount to cover the costs of the proceedings is decided ex officio by the court under Article 86 of the CCP.

 

There is no determinative regulation in either IPPL or CCP regarding what constitutes security. However, according to Article 87 of the CCP, if the parties did not determine the form of the security, the judge can freely determine its form.

 

Another consideration is the amount of the security deposit to be paid by non-nationals and non-resident turkish citizens. In practice, the courts fix the amount of the security to be between %10-%15 of the amount in dispute.[1]

 

If the security is deposited in cash, it must be decided whether the money should be deposited in foreign currency or in Turkish Liras. In the Court of Cassation decisions, it is ruled that the security to be deposited by foreigners should be in foreign currency.[2]

 

When the court or the enforcement office orders security to be deposited as such, a reasonable period of time is granted to the relevant persons. If the security is not deposited within the granted period, the consequence is that the case will not be heard before the Turkish Courts.

 

Exemption From the Security Requirement

 

  • For non-Turkish Citizens:

 

Although it is regulated in article 48/1 of the IPPL that security must be deposited, according to Article 48/2 of that Law, the court exempts the foreign persons from the security requirement based on the principle of reciprocity. Reciprocity may stem from bilateral/unilateral agreements, the laws or may be de facto. For this reason, if there is an agreement or a provision of law or an actual practice between the country of citizenship of the claimant and Turkey, that party is granted an exemption from having to deposit security.[3]

 

Some of the agreements to which Turkey is a party and which foresee an exemption from the security are as follows:[4]

 

  • The Hague Convention of 1 March 1954 on Civil Procedure[5]
  • 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
  • Contract for International Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Rail (CIV) dated 1961
  • Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR) dated 1956
  • Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

 

Citizens of those states that are parties to the agreements listed above are exempt from depositing guarantees when filing a lawsuit or initiating enforcement proceedings in Turkey, provided that the conditions in their relevant articles are met in the particular case.

 

In addition to the above, Turkey has bilateral legal aid or friendship agreements with a large number of countries that provide exemption from the security requirement. It is therefore necessary for foreigners or non-resident Turks to take into account these agreements and determine whether they shall be exempt from the requirement before filing a lawsuit in Turkey or initiating enforcement proceedings, given that the security amounts can be significant depending on the value of the particular dispute.

 

[1] ŞANLI, Cemal, International Private Law, İstanbul, 2014, p.416

[2] Court of Cassation 12th Circuit Decision numbered 2004/5408E. and 2004/9048K. dated 13.04.2004, Court of Cassation 12th Circuit Decision numbered 2004/5278E. and 2004/8098K. dated 02.04.2004

[3] ŞANLI, Cemal, International Private Law, İstanbul, 2014, p.420

[4] ŞANLI, Cemal, International Private Law, İstanbul, 2014, p.421

[5]Party states to the Convention : Germany, Argentina, Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, The Czech Republic, China, Denmark, Armenia, Morocco, Finland, France, Croatia, Holland, Spain, Israel, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Iceland, Japan, Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Lebanon, Luxemburg, Hungary, Macedonia, Egypt, Moldova, Mongolia, Norway, Uzbekistan, Poland, Portuguese, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Surinam, Turkey, Ukraine, Vatican

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LITIGATION IN TURKEY https://www.ongurpartners.com/litigation-in-turkey.html Wed, 26 May 2021 13:21:44 +0000 https://www.ongurpartners.com/?p=3275 LITIGATION IN TURKEY      Introduction     Turkey is one of the increasingly important countries in a globalized world thanks to its unique location and growing economy, attracting investors or tourists from all over the world. As a consequence, legal disputes involving Turkey or Turkish parties sometimes become inevitable, leading to lawsuits that may […]

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LITIGATION IN TURKEY 

 

 

  • Introduction

 

 

Turkey is one of the increasingly important countries in a globalized world thanks to its unique location and growing economy, attracting investors or tourists from all over the world. As a consequence, legal disputes involving Turkey or Turkish parties sometimes become inevitable, leading to lawsuits that may have to be filed with Turkish courts. Basically, there are no significant differences in litigation for Turkish citizens and foreigners, with the exception of certain specific regulations for the latter. This article seeks to explain the general issues concerning litigation in Turkey and outlines the special regulations set out for foreign parties.

 

 

  • Territorial Jurisdiction 

 

 

The competent court in Turkey for disputes involving a foreign element is determined according to the Turkish International Private Law and Procedural Law (IPLPL) numbered 5718 and  the Turkish Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) numbered 6100. Since the IPLPL Law No. 5718 is the main code containing the specific regulations for the conflict of laws, its application takes priority over the CCP. Thus, the general provisions of territorial jurisdiction of the CCP apply, unless there is  a specific provision regarding the competent court in the IPLPL. 

 

Pursuant to Article 40 of the IPLPL, “The international jurisdiction of the Turkish courts shall be determined by the domestic jurisdiction rules.” The following articles of said Law determine the competent court based on the type of the dispute. For example, pursuant to Article 42, lawsuits related to the personal status of foreigners such as guardianship, tutelage, declaration of death shall be heard at the court of the place where the person is resident in Turkey, and if the person is not resident in Turkey, the lawsuit shall be heard at the place where his/her assets are located.  

 

As another example, Article 43 sets out the competent court in inheritance cases. In accordance with this article, lawsuits related to inheritance must be heard at the court of the last domicile of the deceased in Turkey. If the deceased’s last domicile is elsewhere, then the lawsuit must be filed at the place where the heritage is located. 

 

IPLPL also specifies special territorial jurisdiction rules for disputes arising from consumer, employment and insurance contracts. For the types of disputes other than those listed in IPLPL, Law No. 6100 (CCP) applies. For example, according to the Article 10 of Law No.6100, in cases arising from contracts, unless specified in the contract, the competent court can also be the court where the contract will be performed. Said article is applicable to lawsuits arising from most contracts, except for employment, consumer and insurance contracts, as listed in IPLPL No 5718.  

 

Finally, tort cases can be given as another example. Pursuant to Article 16 of Law No.6100For actions arising from tort, the court in the jurisdiction in which the tortious act was committed or where the act occurred or will likely occur its effect or the court at the domicile of the aggrieved person shall have jurisdiction.” 

 

As a result, while determining the competent court in terms of territorial jurisdiction, the provisions of the law numbered 5718 must be primarily taken into account, and, if there is no provision in this Law, the provisions of the Law numbered 6100 must be applied.

 

 

  • Applicable Law

 

 

The main norm in Turkish law is that the parties freely choose the law to be applied to their dispute. This issue is stated in paragraph 4 of Article 2 of IPLPL as “In cases where there is a possibility of choosing the applicable law, unless otherwise designated by the parties, the substantive provisions of the chosen law shall be applied. “ .

 

Although the parties are free to choose the law to be applied to the contract, if such choice has not been made by the parties, the determination of the applicable law to the dispute will be made according to the IPLPL. Pursuant to Article 2 of said Law, “the judge shall apply the rules of the Turkish conflict of laws and the governing foreign law which is applicable in accordance with the said rules ex officio. The judge may seek assistance of the parties for the determination of the content of the governing foreign law. If the applicable foreign law provisions cannot be ascertained despite all efforts, Turkish law shall be applied.” 

 

As is clear from the provision above, the judge will determine the law to be applied according to the rules of conflict of laws. Article 14 of the IPLPL entitled “Divorce and Separation” can be given as an example to the Turkish conflict of laws rules. According to this article “The grounds and provisions for divorce and separation shall be governed by the common national law of the spouses. If the spouses have different nationalities, the law of the place of their common habitual residence, in case of absence of such residence, Turkish law shall govern.”

 

Notwithstanding the reference to the rules of conflict of laws to determine the applicable law to a dispute, Turkish law has to be applied in the event that (i) the foreign law is contrary to the Turkish public order, (ii) there are provisions of mandatory application in the particular dispute, (iii) the applicable foreign law provisions cannot be ascertained despite all efforts.

 

 

  • Appeal Process

 

 

Turkish law has a 3-tier judicial system: First Instance Court, Regional Court of Appeal and Court of Cassation. 

After the court of first instance has decided about the case, the party who is not satisfied with the court decision can appeal the judgment. According to article 341 of the Turkish Code of Civil Procedure, to be able to file for an appeal,  the value of the dispute should be at least TRY 5.390,00. The appellant must apply to the first instance court which has ruled on the case within two weeks from the date of service of the decision to the appellant, with a request of appeal specifying the grounds of appeal. Following the acceptance of the appeal application, the other party may also file its objections with the appeal court within due time. The Regional Court of Appeal evaluates the application in terms of procedure and merits. After the parties have been heard, the evidence has been examined, the Regional Court of Appeal may decide in line with the decision of the First Instance Court and reject the appeal, or decide against the First Instance Court decision. 

 

 The regional court of appeal’s decisions with a value above the specified thresholds are subject to the review of the Court of Cassation within two weeks from the date of service of the final decision. Accordingly, the disputed amount must be at least TRY 72,070,00. The Court of Cassation’s review is limited to the legal determinations. The decision by the Court of Cassation is final and binding, therefore the parties cannot apply to any other appeal process and the decision shall become enforceable.

 

In addition, it should be stated that appellate review does not suspend the enforcement. In order to apply to legal remedies, fees and expenses must be paid separately from those paid in the first instance proceedings. Additionally, the trial process in the second and third-tier courts may take longer due to the workload.

 

 

  • Jurisdiction Process 

 

 

In Turkish law, a two-round petition system is applied, except for cases where simple (expedited) procedure is applied. The plaintiff files a lawsuit with a lawsuit petition and respondent usually responds with a pleading within two weeks following the date of notification of the lawsuit petition. Afterwards, the plaintiff presents the rejoinder petition within two weeks and the respondent presents the second pleading within two weeks. In cases where simple procedure is applied, the parties of the case submit only one round of petitions to the court. However, it is possible for the parties to present more than one petition for their submissions in addition to these petitions. After the petitions phase is completed, the adjudication process continues with the preliminary examination phase, the investigation phase, the oral judgment phase and  the court decision phase. In addition to these phases, in cases where technical information is required, the judge may decide that the file will be examined by an expert or a panel of experts, and the parties can file their objections against the expert report. 

 

Documents submitted to the court by the parties must be certified, apostilled and translated into Turkish. If the documents do not have these qualifications, they will either not be considered by the court or the parties are granted a time limit to fulfil these requirements.

 

As a rule, the judge is bound by the claims of the parties, which means that he/she cannot decide beyond or other than the claims of the parties in Turkish Law. Therefore, the parties should clearly present their claims in their petitions to the court. However, it is worth noting that, during the process, parties may once decrease or increase their claims by way of submitting a petition amending their pleading.

 

 

  • Security, Fees and Expenses

 

 

Under Turkish Law, the plaintiff must pay the court fees and possible expenses to file a lawsuit. The fees and expenses depend on the title of the parties, the type of case, the amount of dispute, etc. The Turkish Code of Civil Procedure regulates a dual juridical taxation system, which has proportional fees or fixed fees. For instance, when a customer files a lawsuit for determination of defective goods or services, he/she must pay a fixed fee. However, if the same customer would like to be compensated for damages, he/she must pay a proportional fee.

 

According to the Turkish Code of Civil Procedure,  the party who relies on a certain evidence must pay the expenses relating to the evidence. Evidence expenses refer to the amount that the parties must pay within the definite period determined by the court to cover the expenses of obtaining the evidence on which they rely. If the parties together rely on the same evidence, they must pay half of the required expenses each. 

 

At the end of the case, all these costs are recovered by the party who was found to be unjustified by the court. In other words, the losing party must pay all the fees and expenses which have been paid during the litigation to the winning party.

 

In addition to aforementioned expenses, one has to take into account other litigation expenses, such as the counter counsel’s fee, regulated under article 323 of the Turkish Code of Civil Procedure. This is the payment to be made directly to the winning party’s attorney(s) by the losing party, and can be determined as proportional to the value of the dispute, or fixed, based on the title of the parties, the type of case, the amount in dispute, etc in accordance with minimum attorneyship fee tariff which is published annually.

 

The last issue concerning foreign persons with respect to litigation in Turkey is the security fee. Article 84 of Turkish Code of Civil Procedure stipulates that “security in an adequate amount should be provided to prevent any possible loss on the defendant’s behalf, in cases which mainly include (i) a citizen of Turkey not residing in Turkey initiating a lawsuit, and (ii) the plaintiff having gone bankrupt before.” Additionally, as per Article 48 of the IPLPL, foreign individuals or legal persons who file a lawsuit in Turkey, intervene in a lawsuit before Turkish Courts, or initiate execution proceedings before a Turkish court shall be required to provide security whose amount shall be determined by the court to cover the expenses of the legal procedures and proceedings as well as losses or damages of the other party”

 

In light of the regulations above, the foreign individuals or legal persons must pay a security fee to the court, to file a lawsuit. However, as an exception, in case there is a mutual assistance agreement with respect to judicial relations between the foreigner’s country of residence and Turkey, or if the bilateral relations between the foreigner’s country of residence and Turkey allow this based on reciprocity, the security fee may not be required. The amount of the security fee is decided by the court according to the amount of the dispute.

 

 

  • Enforcement

 

 

A separate enforcement procedure is required for the execution of the court decision if the other party fails to voluntarily perform the judgment regarding the granting of something or the paying of a certain amount after it is rendered. In this case, the winning party must initiate enforcement proceedings with the court decision in order to execute the decision. With this procedure, a payment order shall be sent to the other party to comply with the judgment, and if the collection cannot be obtained despite this payment order, attachment procedures will be initiated.

 

 

  • Conclusion 

 

 

As can be seen, although the Turkish judicial system does not contain big differences for foreigners compared to Turkish citizens, there are still some specific provisions that apply to foreigners only. In addition the application of conflict of laws principles to the cross-border elements in a dispute may render the litigation process more complex. Therefore, when filing a lawsuit in Turkey, it is extremely important to get competent legal advice from an experienced law office. Ongur&Partners Law Firm, with significant experience and expertise in litigation stands ready to provide you with the required legal assistance. 

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ELECTRONIC BIDDING IN TURKISH TENDERS: EKAP SYSTEM https://www.ongurpartners.com/electronic-bidding-in-turkish-tenders-ekap-system.html Fri, 07 May 2021 12:13:16 +0000 https://www.ongurpartners.com/?p=3270 ELECTRONIC BIDDING IN TURKISH TENDERS: EKAP SYSTEM Contracts made with real or legal persons by the administration by applying the public procurement procedure in order to meet the needs for goods, services or other kinds of actions are called “public procurement contracts”. As per Turkish Law, as a general principle, the administrative authorities are not […]

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ELECTRONIC BIDDING IN TURKISH TENDERS: EKAP SYSTEM

Contracts made with real or legal persons by the administration by applying the public procurement procedure in order to meet the needs for goods, services or other kinds of actions are called “public procurement contracts”. As per Turkish Law, as a general principle, the administrative authorities are not free to conclude public procurement contracts with the parties they wish, instead they are obliged to hold a “public tender” that meets the standards set out by Law Nr. 4734, Law Nr. 4735 and the relevant regulations.

Along with other procedural and substantive issues, methods of public procurement are also set out under said regulations. This article aims to provide practical information for the parties who wish to attend these tenders, focusing mainly on the electronic tender system of Turkey

 

– Definition and capabilities

After the amendments made in the Regulation on Procurement of Goods[1] and the Regulation on Procurement of Services[2] on 16/03/2011, the procedures to be followed for the public procurement transactions in Turkey have started to be carried out through an electronic system named EKAP.[3] EKAP system enables the parties to carry out all necessary transactions online. More specifically, it is possible for the companies/real persons via EKAP system to

– search tenders and tender documents such as specifications and the draft contract,

– search the information announced by the Public Procurement Authority, such as the results of the tenders, decisions of the Public Procurement Authority and the list of prohibition, etc.,

– submit the documents, such as work completion certificates, balance sheets, electronic guarantee letters, accreditation documents, etc.

– submit offers for the public tenders,

– participate in tenders via live-streaming

– receive the official notifications of the Public Procurement Authority,

– follow up the procedures regarding the contract period, such as progress payments, transfer/assignment of the contract, termination of the contract.

 

-Registration and bidding

In order to participate in tenders held via EKAP, the companies/real persons must register in the system. The registration is to be made via the website of EKAP (https://ekap.kik.gov.tr/EKAP/Yetki/IstekliKaydi.aspx) by filling in the credentials of the company/real person, registration of the authorized signatory officers of the company, and signing the protocol generated in accordance with the submitted information. Following this electronic procedure, the signed protocol and the accompanying documents showing the credentials of the company must be physically posted to the Public Procurement Authority.

After completing the registration procedure outlined above, the user must sign in the EKAP system with the generated user code and password to submit an offer for the tenders. Afterwards, the “bidding” module of the system should be accessed and the “tender registration number” should be submitted.

Once the tab regarding the specific tender is accessed, the offered price and the relevant compliance documents must be submitted. Compliance documents (such as work completion certificates, balance sheets) can be accessed automatically from the information duly submitted by the Company during the registration to EKAP. After the completion of the forms, the offer must be submitted with the e-signature obtained in accordance with the Law Nr. 5070 on Electronic Signature.

[1] In Turkish: “04.03.2009 tarihli Mal Alımı İhaleleri Uygulama Yönetmeliği”, see: https://www.mevzuat.gov.tr/mevzuat?MevzuatNo=12917&MevzuatTur=7&MevzuatTertip=5

[2] In Turkish: “04.03.2009 tarihli Hizmet Alımı İhaleleri Uygulama Yönetmeliği”, see: https://www.mevzuat.gov.tr/mevzuat?MevzuatNo=12918&MevzuatTur=7&MevzuatTertip=5

[3] EKAP stands for “Elektronik Kamua Alımları Platformu” (Electronic Public Procurement )

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THE ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF TURKISH FINANCING COMPANIES https://www.ongurpartners.com/the-establishment-and-operation-of-turkish-financing-companies.html Tue, 27 Apr 2021 11:58:55 +0000 https://www.ongurpartners.com/?p=3267 THE ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF TURKISH FINANCING COMPANIES (A)      Introduction Financing companies are credit institutions that have come to being due to the needs of consumers as well as goods and services providers.  They can be defined as lending institutions that make payments directly to the suppliers of goods and services on behalf of the […]

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THE ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF TURKISH FINANCING COMPANIES

(A)      Introduction

Financing companies are credit institutions that have come to being due to the needs of consumers as well as goods and services providers.  They can be defined as lending institutions that make payments directly to the suppliers of goods and services on behalf of the real or legal persons who purchase such goods or services, based on agreements entered into between the financing companies and the suppliers of goods and services. The operation of financing companies in Turkey have their legal basis in the Law no. 6361 on Financial Leasing, Factoring and Financing Companies which entered into force on December 13, 2012[1], and the Regulation on Principles of Establishment and Operation of the Financial Leasing, Factoring and Financing Companies[2].

 

In order to operate in Turkey as a financial institution (other than a bank) that provides loans to real and legal persons, it is necessary to be structured as a “financing company” pursuant to the Law no. 6361. According to this Law, financing companies can provide loans to real or legal persons for the purchase of any products or services, by making a payment directly to the seller in the name and account of the real or legal person who has purchased the product or the service, upon supply or delivery of the product or the service. The loan repayments are then made to the finance companies by the persons to whom the loan is provided.

 

The establishment and operation of financing companies are subject to regulation and approval of the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA), which is the regulatory authority in Turkey responsible for regulating financial markets and ensuring the efficient running of the credit system.

 

Below is an outline of the main requirements for financing companies for obtaining both establishment and operation permits from the BRSA.

 

(B)       Requirements for establishment

Company Type

To begin with, financing companies must be established as joint stock companies, and the share certificates must be issued in cash and all of them must be registered. It is also required by law that the trade name of the company must contain the phrase “Financing Company”.

 

Founders and Members of the Board of directors

The Law no. 6361 also sets out detailed requirements for the founders of financing companies. Accordingly, the Company founders and those who own ten percent or more of the share capital of the legal persons who are in control of the legal person founding partners of the company must meet the requirements which are specified in Article 6 of the Law. These include, founders not being bankrupt or having declared concordat, not having been sentenced to imprisonment due to certain monetary offences specified in, inter alia, the Turkish Penal Code, Banking Law, Capital Markets Law, having the financial strength and credit to meet the amount of capital undertaken.

The members of the Board of Directors of the company must also meet the conditions envisaged in the Law. In particular, they must have the qualifications set forth under the corporate governance provisions of the Law no. 6361 and have professional experience to realize the planned activities. The company’s Board of Directors cannot be less than three people, including the general manager, who must have at least seven years of experience in the field of business or finance.

 

Minimum Capital

The Law no. 6361 also sets out minimum capital requirements for the establishment of a financing company. It must be noted that the BRSA Board is authorized to increase the amount of the paid-up capital. Currently, a financing company must have a paid-in capital of at least 50 million Turkish Liras (approx. USD 6,200,000.00) in cash (up from the original minimum amount of 20 million Turkish liras).

 

Articles of Association

As for the company’s articles of association, these must comply with relevant provisions of the Law, and once approved, any amendments to the articles of association must also be reported to the BRSA and the current version of the articles must be published on the company’s website.

 

Shareholding Structure

Financing companies must have a transparent and open shareholding structure to allow active control of the BRSA. In addition, they must submit an activity program which contains in detail the business plan, projections regarding the financial structure, budget plan for the first three years and the company’s organisational structure.

 

Pursuant to Article 4 of the Law no. 6361, after the establishment requirements referred to above are satisfied, permission for the establishment of the company must be obtained from the BRSA Board.

 

(C) Operating Conditions: 

 

Scope and Areas of Operation

After the establishment permit is obtained, the Law no. 6361 also sets forth a number of operating conditions for financing companies. First of all, the company cannot operate outside of the main operation areas specified in its Articles of Association. Therefore, the scope and areas of lending must be carefully considered beforehand. Another important limitation is that the company can only provide lending facilities in the amount of up to 1% of its paid-in capital. The BRSA Board is authorized to decrease or increase this amount up to 5% of the paid-in capital, or to differentiate these amounts on the basis of individual financing companies. Thus, based on the planned volume of lending, the paid-in capital may have to be higher than the required minimum amount.

 

Restrictions on Guarantees, Collection of Deposit and Insurance

Further operating restrictions can be outlined as follows:

–           Financing companies cannot give guarantees, sureties or letters of guarantee except for those given within the scope of its areas of activity and in a way that does not exceed 20% of its paid-in capital,

–           The company cannot collect any money as deposit or under any name in return for a consideration; except for the issuance of securities, borrowing money from international markets, obtaining funds from partners and associations, banks, money markets and organized markets,

–           The company cannot engage in insurance business except intermediation in the execution of insurance contracts for the goods and services whose purchases are loaned, the guarantees of the loans and the real or legal persons who purchased the loaned goods or services, the repayment of the loan debt and all kinds of insurance that will protect all similar loan elements.

 

Accounting and Audit Obligations

As for the accounting and audit requirements, financing companies must account all of their transactions based on their true nature and prepare their financial reports and statistical information and submit them to the BRSA in the form and content to fulfil the information requirements in a clear, comparable manner and suitable for audit and analysis.  The companies are obliged to provide the information requested by the BRSA and provide access to all the data processing system to the latter. In addition, the company must undergo independent audit, the reports of which must also be submitted to the BRSA.

 

Finance Agreements

The Law no. 6361 also specifies for the financing companies the form of providing loans for a product or service. Pursuant to Article 39 of the Law, the financing company must provide loans by way of “finance agreements”, which must be entered into and signed physically or electronically with the sellers who supply the product or service for which the loan will be provided.

 

Membership to the Association of Financial Institutions (FKB)

Finally, financing companies must become members of the Association of Financial Institutions, which is the public institution tasked by law with the development of the profession, as well as the principles and standards within one month following the date of obtaining their operating permits.

 

IT Obligations of financing Companies

Based on the Communiqué dated 06.04.2019 on the Management and Supervision of Information Systems of Financial Leasing, Factoring and Financing Companies issued by the BRSA, financing companies have to establish and maintain their primary and secondary (back-up) infrastructure, hardware and software systems inside Turkey. As per the Communiqué, primary systems are broadly defined as:

systems where all the information relating to the matters stated under the Law are kept in an electronic environment that allows secure and on demand access and the complete system consisting of infrastructure, hardware, software and data, which are used to conduct operations.”;

whereas secondary systems are:

back-ups of the primary systems that allows for the continuity of operations within the acceptable interruption periods as defined under the information systems continuity plans and ensures access to all information, in the event of an interruption in the operations run through the primary systems”.

Apart from this obligation, financing companies must comply with further relevant obligations to ensure confidentiality and security of data and allow effective independent audit of their activities within the scope of the Law no. 6361. Among others, financing companies must establish an information system structure and regularly review the policy, procedure and processes; prepare a risk management process which contains an inventory of data assets, an evaluation of possible threats, the precautions and methods for the reduction of risk; establish an information security process, all subject to review and approval by the executives.

The Communiqué allows use of outsourced IT services (including cloud services), however, such outsourcing is subject to, inter alia, the following requirements:

  • Outsourced services must comply with the risk management, security and privacy policies of the relevant financing company,
  • The risk of suspension or termination of the outsourced services must be managed,
  • Access to data must be limited to the information necessary for the performance of services.

As a result, while financing companies may outsource services regarding their information systems, they cannot maintain these systems and their back-ups abroad.

            (D) Conclusion

Financing companies offer the main advantage of providing fast, efficient and targeted loans for their customers in Turkey under the supervision of the BRSA. Subject to compliance with the regulatory requirements outlined above, they are expected to effectively compete with the banking institutions in Turkey in meeting their clients’ financing needs.

[1] In Turkish “Finansal Kiralama, Faktoring, Finansman ve Tasarruf Finansman Şirketleri Kanunu”; for text in Turkish see: “https://www.mevzuat.gov.tr/MevzuatMetin/1.5.6361.pdf”, accessed: 16.04.2021.

[2] In Turkish “Finansal Kiralama, Faktoring ve Finansman Şirketlerinin Bilgi Sistemlerinin Yönetimine ve Denetimine İlişkin Tebliğ”; for text in Turkish see: https://www.resmigazete.gov.tr/eskiler/2019/04/20190406-6.htm, accessed: 19.04.2021

 

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PROHIBITION FROM PARTICIPATING IN PUBLIC TENDERS https://www.ongurpartners.com/prohibition-from-participating-in-public-tenders.html Tue, 20 Apr 2021 09:53:40 +0000 https://www.ongurpartners.com/?p=3262   PROHIBITION FROM PARTICIPATING IN PUBLIC TENDERS  I.Introduction Public tenders in which real or legal persons participate in order to meet the public needs for goods or services are conducted by the administration through the application of the public procurement procedure. It is not rare to see that contractors bidding in public tenders fail to […]

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PROHIBITION FROM PARTICIPATING IN PUBLIC TENDERS

 I.Introduction

Public tenders in which real or legal persons participate in order to meet the public needs for goods or services are conducted by the administration through the application of the public procurement procedure.

It is not rare to see that contractors bidding in public tenders fail to meet the standards set by the relevant legislation. Similarly, after the tender, the Contractors sometimes fail to fulfil the conditions agreed in the contract.

In cases such as fraud or wilful misconduct, the acts of the contractors are normally subject to penal sanctions. However, the Turkish public procurement legislation also regulates the administrative consequences of such acts. Foremost of these consequences is the prohibition from participating public tenders for a certain period. In what follows, the legal basis, the procedure and consequences of this administrative measure, as well as the rights of recourse against it are examined in light of the relevant legislation and case law.

II.Applicable Law

There are two main statutes in Turkish Law regulating the public procurement processes. The first of these regulations is Law No. 4734 on Public Tenders[1], which provides the administrative law provisions applied until the establishment of the contract. (hereinafter the “tender process”) The second one is Law No. 4735 on Public Procurement Contracts[2], which includes private law provisions that apply to the enforcement and termination of the contract (hereinafter the “contract process”).

In both of the statutes mentioned above, the prohibition of the companies from participating in public tenders are regulated. This legislative choice makes sense, since the prohibited acts may be carried out both in tender and contract processes.

 

III.       EXTENT AND CONTENT OF THE PROHIBITION FROM THE TENDERS

A.Prohibited Conduct

The prohibition from participating in public tenders due to unlawful conduct during the tender process is regulated in Article 58 of the Law No. 4734, while the same mechanism is regulated in Article 26 of the Law Nr. 4735. The only difference between these two regulations is the relevant prohibited conduct.

According to said articles, those who are determined to have been involved in acts and conducts listed in the Law shall be prohibited from participation in any tender carried out by all public institutions and authorities.

– Prohibited conduct – Tender phase:

The prohibited conduct during tenders is listed in Article 17 of the Law Nr. 4734 as follows:

  • to commit or attempt to commit procurement fraud utilizing fraudulent and corrupt acts, promises, threats, unlawful influence, undue interest, agreement, malversation, bribery or other actions,
  • to cause confusion among tenderers, to prevent participation, to offer agreement to tenderers or to encourage tenderers to accept such offers, to engage in actions which may affect competition or tender decision[3],
  • to forge or attempt to forge documents or securities, to use or attempt to use forged documents or securities[4],
  • to submit more than one tender by a tenderer on his account or behalf of others, directly or indirectly, as the principal person or as representative of others, apart from where submitting alternative tenders is allowed[5],
  • to participate in procurement proceedings although prohibited[6],
  • not to sign a contract in accordance with the procedures, except for force majeure, although the tender has been awarded to them (six months and up to one year).

– Prohibited conduct – Contract phase: The prohibited conduct during tenders is listed in Article 25 of the Law Nr. 4735 as,

  • Corrupting any transactions pertaining to the contract through fraud, intrigue, promises, threats, using influence, seeking of personal interest, agreement arranging, malversation, bribery or through other means or attempting to those[7],
  • Drawing up or using forged documents or attempting thereto[8],
  • Using adulterated materials, means, or methods or engaging in production contrary to rules of science or the trade or (otherwise) deficient or faulty in the process of carrying out business under the contract or making deliveries thereof,
  • Causing damage to the contracting entity in the process of performing its obligations under the contract,
  • Using its knowledge and experience to the detriment of the contracting entity or acting in violation of the provisions of Article 29,
  • Failing to perform its obligations under the provisions of the contract and tender documents, except for force majeure[9],
  • Assigning or taking over a contract in violation of provisions of Article 16.

B.THE PROCEDURE OF PROHIBITION

– The relevant authorities: The administrative authority with the power to decide about the prohibition from the public tenders may vary based on the “tender”, the conditions of which are violated. The general principle is that the prohibition decisions shall be taken by the Ministry implementing the contract or by the Ministry to which the contracting authority is subordinate or with which it is associated with.

In case the contracting authority is not subordinate or related to a Ministry, tender officials of the relevant contracting authorities are authorized to impose the prohibition decision.

In the tenders that are being carried out by the special provincial administrations and their affiliated associations, institutions, and undertakings, the Ministry of Interior is authorized to take the prohibition decision.

Lastly, for the tenders made by the municipalities and their affiliated associations, institutions, and undertakings, the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation is authorized.[10]

– The procedure: The relevant authority is to render its decision regarding the prohibition within 45 days following the day the prohibited conduct was transmitted to the relevant authority for prohibition. The decisions regarding the prohibition must be published in the Official Gazette. [11]

However, until this procedure is completed “those who are determined to have been involved in these acts and conducts during or after the tender proceedings are not allowed by the contracting authority to participate in the tender during/before which the prohibited conduct has occurred as well the subsequent tenders to be carried out by the same contracting authority. [12]

-The time period: The prohibition period is foreseen as at least one year and up to two years depending on the nature of the acts and conduct committed.[13]

– The extent of the prohibition: As the general principle, the prohibition decisions are taken for the legal entity/real person which/who carried out the prohibited conduct.

However, in cases specified by the Law, the prohibition decision also extends to certain shareholders of the companies. In particular, if the prohibited entity is a sole proprietorship, the prohibition extends to all shareholders of the company, whereas in companies with a shared capital, the prohibition extends only to shareholders whose capital share is more than 50% (hereinafter “prohibited partners”).[14]

In addition to an extension to the shareholders themselves, the prohibition decisions are also applied for the other companies in which said shareholders have shares. With a similar methodology, it is regulated that the sole proprietorships in which the prohibited partners are shareholders, and companies with a shared capital where the prohibited partners own more than 50% of the shares fall within the scope of the prohibition decision.[15]

 C.LEGAL REMEDIES

As per Article 125 of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey every administrative action is subject to judicial supervision. In line with this general principle, the prohibition decisions of the authorities are also subject to the supervision of the administrative courts. This is consistently confirmed by established case law as well:

“The Public Procurement Board does not have any authority to evaluate the lawfulness of the procedures regarding the initiation of prohibition from the tender and the decisions to prohibition.” (Council of State 13th Circuit, E. 2016/4413- K. 2017/358, 14.2.2017)

The court that has jurisdiction in this regard is the administrative court of the place of the administrative authority that has rendered the decision of prohibition[16].

The time limit for filing the case is 60 days following the service of the decision (or publication thereof in the Official Gazette)[17].

 

[1] The Public Tenders Law

In Turkish : Kamu İhale Kanunu

See the official text: https://www.mevzuat.gov.tr/mevzuat?MevzuatNo=4734&MevzuatTur=1&MevzuatTertip=5

[2] The Public Procurement Contracts Law

In Turkish: Kamu İhale Sözleşmeleri Kanunu

See the official text: “https://www.mevzuat.gov.tr/MevzuatMetin/1.5.4735.pdf”

[3] In case law, the Council of State ruled e.g. in a 2015 judgment as follows:

“The fact that the Claimant, the participant of the tender, carries out its activities in the same address with Ahmet S., who is another tender participant; and that the provisional tender guarantees of both participants issued from the same bank consecutively; and that the bidding letters include similar phrases are considered sufficient for the Administrative Court that the said participants carried out activities to cause confusion among tenderers, to prevent participation, to offer agreement to tenderers or to encourage tenderers to accept such offers, to conduct actions which may influence competition or tender decision.” (Council of State 13th Circuit, E. 2015/3287 – K. 2015/3194, 17.9.2015). In another case, the Court ruled:

“It has been concluded that the existence of false information in a document that is required to be submitted and issued by a certified public accountant, is behavior directed to affect the outcome of the tender by using a false document, and therefore the said conduct falls within the scope of the prohibition.” (Council of State 13th Circuit, E. 2015/4042- K. 2015/3805, 10.11.2015)

[4] See the Council of State 13th Circuit’s ruling in E. 2015/4042- K. 2015/3805, 10.11.2015 (“It has been concluded that the existence of false information in a document that is required to be submitted and issued by a certified public accountant, is behavior directed to affect the outcome of the tender by using a false document, and therefore the said conduct falls within the scope of the prohibition.”).

[5] See the Council of State 13th Circuit’s ruling in E. 2018/1465 – K. 2018/2345, 10.7.2018 (“Considering that there is a kinship relationship between the participants, that the letters of guarantee submitted by the tenderers are issued by the same bank branch on the same date and document numbers are given consecutively (…); there is a strong presumption that there is an organic bond between the participants and that the said participants have the knowledge of the prices of each other and that the competition, confidentiality and reliability principles in Article 5 of the Law No 4734”).

[6] See the Council of State 13th Circuit’s ruling in E. 2015/6312- K. 2016/547, 2.3.2016 (“It is understood that in this case, since those who are prohibited from participating in public tenders according to the provisions of the Law cannot participate in the tenders in any way, directly or indirectly or as a subcontractor, on behalf of themselves or others, the conduct of the prohibited Claimant company which is bidding for the tender indirectly through their attorney falls within the ambit of the prohibited conduct and the decision to prohibit the said company for 1 year from participating public tenders complies with law”).

[7] In case law see Council of State 13th Circuit judgment, E. 2011/2976- K. 2011/5364, 28.11.2011: “It is understood from the case file that the tender was awarded to the plaintiff company, the contract was signed on 28.05.2009, and following that the Respondent administration initiated an investigation regarding the tender process, in the investigation report dated 13.04.2010 and numbered 153/01, numbered 119/1, it is determined that many of the productions within the scope of the tender were carried out by the plaintiff company before the date of 22.05.2009, irregular tender documents were issued during the tender process, fraudulent actions were taken in favor of a single company in the tender, material benefits were provided to the company in question, and that it was understood that the issues that were done before the admission were determined and it was suggested that the relevant public officials be punished with various disciplinary penalties”.

[8] See Council of State 13th Circuit judgment, E. 2015/3961- K. 2015/3264, 30.9.2015: Considering that the Claimant should have been aware of these falsifications in the documents as a prudent merchant, and that he used falsified reports, and that this conduct gives rise to  “the act of arranging, using or attempting to use forged documents” as expressed in Article 25/1-b of Law numbered 4735 and necessitating a prohibition from tenders. Considering the facts, it has been decided that there is no contradiction in the transaction regarding the prohibition of the Claimant company from participating tenders for two years with law”.

[9] See Council of State 13th Circuit judgments, E. 2014/3370- K. 2020/2609, 14.10.2020: “In this case, since it was determined in the decision of Ankara 7th Commercial Court of First Instance dated 07/04/2015 and numbered E: 2014/861 K: 2015/161 that the termination of the Contract by the administrative authority is unjust and the court decision in question was finalized through appeal, it has been concluded that a prohibition procedure based on Article 25 / f of the Public Procurement Contracts Law cannot be established”; E. 2013/1573- K. 2019/733, 12.3.2019: In this respect, considering that the Claimant company should have been notified and given at least 10 days to remedy the deficiencies determined by the contract signed between the parties regarding the work in question, and these issues should  have been duly notified to the Claimant company; the action of administration regarding the prohibition of the Claimant company from participating in the tenders of all public institutions and organizations for 1 (one) year on the grounds that the act specified in Article 25 / f of the Law No.4735”; and E. 2008/196- K. 2010/1729, 1.3.2010: It was decided to annul the transaction subject to the case on the grounds that there was a significant procedural deficiency in the preparatory process, which is the basis of the transaction, which was established on the grounds that the plaintiff company did not fulfill its commitment in accordance with the provisions of the contract”.

[10] Art. 58/1 of the Law Nr. 4734, Art. 26/1 of the Law Nr. 4735

[11] Art. 58/4 of the Law Nr. 4734, Art. 26/4 of the Law Nr. 4735

[12] Art. 58/3 of the Law Nr. 4734, Art. 26/3 of the Law Nr. 4735

[13] Save for the conduct “not to sign a contract in accordance with the procedures, except for force majeure, although the tender has been awarded to them”, which may result in prohibition from six months up to one year.

[14] Art. 58/2 of the Law Nr. 4734, Art. 26/2 of the Law Nr. 4735

[15] Art. 58/2 of the Law Nr. 4734, Art. 26/2 of the Law Nr. 4735

[16] See the Council of State 13th Circuit judgment, E. 2017/656- K. 2017/980, 11.4.2017, where the court found: “The dispute must be resolved by the Ankara Administrative Court, which is the administrative court of the place of the administrative authority that established the transaction”.

[17] See the Council of State 13th Circuit judgment, E. 2008/14146 – K. 2009/8646, 25.9.2009: “In this case, since it was notified by an announcement on 14.07.2007, it is necessary to file a lawsuit against the prohibition process, which is accepted to be learned on that date, within 60 days from this date, until 12.09.2007 at the latest”.

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TERMINATION OF PUBLIC PROCUREMENT CONTRACTS UNDER TURKISH LAW https://www.ongurpartners.com/termination-of-public-procurement-contracts-under-turkish-law.html Mon, 19 Apr 2021 15:50:49 +0000 https://www.ongurpartners.com/?p=3253   TERMINATION OF PUBLIC PROCUREMENT CONTRACTS UNDER TURKISH LAW   I.Introduction Contracts made by the administration by applying the public procurement procedure with real or legal persons in order to meet the needs for goods, services or other kinds of actions are called “public procurement contracts”. During the establishment, implementation and termination of these contracts, […]

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TERMINATION OF PUBLIC PROCUREMENT CONTRACTS UNDER TURKISH LAW

 

I.Introduction

Contracts made by the administration by applying the public procurement procedure with real or legal persons in order to meet the needs for goods, services or other kinds of actions are called “public procurement contracts”. During the establishment, implementation and termination of these contracts, the fact that the Administration is in a financially stronger position compared to private law persons and the public procurement contract prices are very high make the legal problems between the administration and private law persons more complex.

In order to minimize this complexity, Turkish legislation has been aligned with the procurement legislation of international organizations such as the European Union and the World Trade Organization.  This report is prepared to enlighten the issues regarding the termination of public procurement contracts on the basis of Turkish legislation and Turkish judicial decisions.

II.Applicable Law to Public Procurement Contracts and Relevant Legislation

To begin with,  it should be clarified to what extent the administrative law principles apply to the public procurement process and to what extent the principles of private law are applicable. The doctrine and case law in this regard concur on that administrative law principles, which foresee certain privileges for the administrative authorities shall be applied until the signing of the contract; whereas the principles and rules of private law in which the administrative authority and the private person are equal parties to a private commercial relationship shall be applied after the signing of the contract.

Reflecting this view, there are two main regulations in Turkish Law that can be applied to disputes regarding public procurement contracts between the administration and private law persons. First of these regulations is [1]Law No. 4734, which provides the administrative law provisions applied until the establishment of the contract. The second one ise Law No. 4735[2], which includes private law provisions that apply to the enforcement and termination of the contract.

Since the purpose of the Law No. 4734 is to determine “the principles and procedures to be applied in the procurements to be made by public institutions and organizations” and because the unlawful unlawful acts and transactions of the administration in this procurement process are likely to affect other persons, the administrative law provisions of the Law No. 4734 regarding the procurement process should be applied. In short, the Public Procurement Law No. 4734 introduces provisions regarding the stage before the establishment of the contract.

After the procurement is finalized and the contract is established, the Public Procurement Contract Law No. 4735 will be applied, which contains provisions regarding the establishment and content of the contract and is entirely based on private law principles.

 

III. Legal Nature of Public Procurement Contracts

The nature of public procurement contracts should be explained before proceeding with the evaluation of the termination of public procurement contracts. Paragraph 3 of Article 4 of Law No. 4735 is as follows:

“Parties of public procurement contracts made under this Law have equal rights and obligations in the implementation of the provisions of the contract. Articles contrary to this principle cannot be included in the procurement document and contract provisions. This principle is taken into consideration in the interpretation and implementation of the law. ”

In the light of this provision, there is no discussion that public procurement contracts are private law contracts; it is strictly prohibited for administrative authorities to incorporate terms contrary to the equality principle. As a matter of fact, Article 36 of Law No. 4735 states that the provisions of the Turkish Code of Obligations shall be applied if there is no provision in the law, and reinforces the fact that public procurement contracts are private law contracts in which the parties are equal and the administrative authority has no further rights stemming from sovereignty.[3]

In line with this, the idea that these contracts are private law contracts is also accepted in the case law. Among many decisions in this regard, the 15th Civil Circuit of the Court of Cassation, in its decision numbered E.2011/1338 and K.2011/8089, ruled that the defense of non-performance (by the other party), originally regulated in the Code of Obligations, can also be applied to public procurement contracts, which indicates that these contracts are private law contracts.

IV. Ending of the Public Procurement Contract

Public procurement contracts, like every contract, may end with the performance of the obligations of the parties. This process, which results in the normal ending of the contract with the performance of the undertaking by the contractor, is completed with the final acceptance process for works subject to public procurement legislation.

Apart from ending by performance, the contract may also end for other reasons as well. Termination due to the default of the parties in fulfilling their obligations is among these reasons. More specifically, the subject of this report is just/unjust termination of public procurement contracts.

In these cases, issues such as the method to be followed for termination, the obligations of the parties, and claims for losses and damages are of great importance. For this reason, the grounds for the termination of the contract, the procedure, the rights and obligations of the parties, the legal consequences are all regulated in detail in the Public Procurement Contracts Law, the Turkish Code of Obligations and the General Specification for Construction Affairs.

V.Termination of the Public Procurement Contract

Before evaluating the termination of public procurement contracts, the concept of “termination of contracts” should be elaborated, since as indicated above, the public procurement contracts are not exempted from the general principles of the law of obligations. One of the reasons that ends a continuous contractual relationship effective to the future is “termination”. The right to terminate a contract may stem from the law as well as the contract between the parties. It should be emphasized that termination (unlike revocation/withdrawal) has proactive consequences rather than retrospective effects. For this reason, receivables and debts that were born before termination in a terminated contract preserve their existence and validity.[4]

For public procurement contracts; it should be noted beforehand that important issues like the termination period, the method of termination, and reasons for just termination may vary depending on the specific terms on which the parties agreed upon. However, it should also be noted that most contracts include such termination clauses as well as the law. In the practice of termination, the actions prior to the receipt of the termination notice are evaluated within the scope of the execution of the contract, and the contract ends with a forward effect after the termination notice has reached or the termination deadline expires. [5]

The declaration of termination must be notified directly to the addressee. In public procurement contracts made between consortiums or business partnerships and the administration, the termination notice must be addressed to the coordinator partner or pilot partner. Termination statements made to private partners do not result in the termination of the contract by termination.[6]

For the reasons for termination of the public procurement contracts, the provisions of the law numbered 4735 should be taken into consideration. Termination reasons arising from the contractor and regulated in the Law No. 4735 can be listed as; unauthorized transfer of the contract; the death, bankruptcy, serious illness, arrest or conviction of the contractor; the contractor’s financial insolvency, the default of the contractor; the contractor’s unlawful acts and behavior during the execution of the contract, the contractor’s forbidden acts and behaviors before the contract.

 

A.Justified Termination

 

  1. Pursuant to the third section of the Public Procurement Law No. 4735, the administration may rightfully terminate the public procurement contract in the presence of the following reasons:

1.1  Contractor’s transfer of the contract without the consent of the administration:

Transfer of public procurement contracts occurs when a contractor transfers his rights and obligations based on the public procurement contract to another contractor. In cases where the contract is transferred, the new contractor will continue to be responsible under the same conditions as the contract will continue. Transfer of public procurement contracts regulated in Article 15 of the Law No. 4735 is as follows :“The contract can be transferred to someone else with the written permission of the procurement authority in compulsory situations. However, the conditions in the first procurement must be sought for transfer receivables. In addition, other contracts cannot be transferred or taken over by the same contractor within three years following the transfer date of a contract, excluding transfers made due to a change in name and status. Contracts transferred or taken over without authorization, or contracts transferred or taken over within three years following the date on which a contract is transferred are terminated, and the provisions of articles 20, 22 and 26 shall apply to the transferor and the transferee ”.

As understood from the clear wording of the article, the contract cannot be freely transferred with the will of the parties. The law made the transfer of the contract possible only in compulsory cases with the permission given by the administration before the transfer. In addition, a contractor who transfers a public procurement contract may not transfer or take over another contract within three years.

In the event the public procurement contracts are transferred without obtaining permission or without complying with other procedural conditions, the contract is ended by termination or rescission, depending on whether the contract is a contract of instantaneous performance or a contract of continuous performance. In this case, the final or additional guarantees are updated and recorded as revenue, the transferor contractor is prohibited from participating in public tenders temporarily.

 

1.2.Termination of the contract due to the death, bankruptcy, serious illness, arrest

or conviction of the contractor:

This issue is regulated in Article 17 of the Public Procurement Contracts Law. In the event of the death of the natural person contractor or the termination of the legal personality of the legal person contractor, the contract may be terminated by the administration. In this case, the guarantees are paid to the heirs. However, the administration may decide to transfer the contract to the heirs, provided that the heirs apply to the administration within 30 days from the date of death and provide additional guarantees.

In the event of the contractor’s bankruptcy, the contract is terminated and the contractor’s performance bond and additional guarantees are updated and recorded as a revenue, but a decision to prohibit him from temporarily participating in public tenders cannot be taken.

In the event that the contractor fails to fulfill its commitment due to severe illness, detention or a sentence restricting its freedom, the commitment may continue, provided that a proxy who will be accepted by the relevant administration is appointed by the contractor within thirty days following the occurrence of this situation. If the contractor has lost his capacity to act, a proxy may be appointed in his place according to general provisions. If these provisions are not implemented, the contract may be terminated by the administration.

Pursuant to Article 18 of Public Procurement Agreements, “In the commitments made by joint ventures, death, bankruptcy, serious illness, detention, being sentenced to a punishment restricting freedom or dissolution of one of the persons forming the joint venture does not prevent the continuation of the contract. However, if one of them is notified to the administration as a pilot or coordinator partner, in cases of bankruptcy, serious illness, detention, conviction to a liberty restricting punishment or dissolution, depending on whether the pilot or coordinator partner is a real or legal person, the contract shall be terminated and actions are taken in accordance with Articles 20 and 22, except for prohibition.”  In case of death of the pilot or coordinator partner, the work is liquidated and the performance bond is returned. In the event of the death, bankruptcy, serious illness, arrest, sentence of a liberty restricting punishment or dissolution of one of the partners other than the pilot or coordinator partner, the other partners fulfill the commitment by undertaking the responsibilities of the partner, including the guarantee.

1.3.Financial insolvency of the contractor:

Under Article 19 of the Public Procurement Contracts Law, in the event that the contractor notifies in writing with the reasons (other than force majeure) that he will not be able to fulfill her commitment due to financial insolvency, the performance bond and additional performance bonds, if any, are recorded as revenue without the need to protest, and the contract is terminated and the account is liquidated according to general provisions. In order for the contract to be terminated by the administration by this method, it is checked whether the contractor’s financial insolvency occurred after the establishment of the contract.

1.4.Termination of the contract due to the default of the contractor:

This issue is regulated in the Clause a of the 1st paragraph of Article 20 of the Public Procurement Contracts Law. In this context, the conditions listed below must be completed cumulatively in order to rightfully terminate the contract:

– Contractor’s failure to fulfill its commitment specified in the scope of procurement documents and contract provisions.

– Contractor’s non-fulfillment of its commitment despite a written warning by the administration stating that the commitment in the contract provisions is deficient or erroneous and that the administration has given a grace period of at least 10 days.

If the above-mentioned conditions are met, the performance bond or additional performance bond (if any) are updated and recorded as revenue without the need to protest.

Thus, in the decision number 2016/9326 E. and 2019/5035 K of the 23rd Civil Chamber the Court of Cassation, the provision regarding the termination of the contract without the need to protest is stated as follows:

“Since the action in question is included in the scope of prohibited acts, it was decided to dismiss the case on the grounds that there is no need for a notification for the termination of the contract in accordance with Article 20 / b of Law No. 4735.”

1.5.Termination of the contract due to the contractor’s unlawful acts and behavior during the execution of the contract:

Prohibited acts and behaviors are regulated in Article 17 of the Public Procurement Law No. 4734 and Article 35 of the Law No. 4735. Pursuant to subparagraph b of paragraph 1 of Article 20 of Law No. 4735, “If it is determined that the contractor has committed prohibited acts or behaviors listed in Article 25 during the execution of the contract, the contract is rightfully terminated. In this case, without the need to protest, the performance bond and the additional performance bond (if there is) is updated and recorded as revenue.”

According to Article 25 of Law No. 4735, it is forbidden to perform the following acts and behaviors:

– Cheating, promising, threatening, using influence, gaining interest, agreement, extortion, bribery, or attempting to corrupt the contractual transactions through other means.

– To issue, use or attempt to fake documents.

– Using fraudulent materials, tools or methods during the performance or delivery of the contractual work, making incomplete, faulty or defective manufacturing contrary to the rules of science and art

– Damaging the administration while fulfilling its commitment.

– To use their knowledge and experience to the detriment of the administration or to act contrary to the provisions of Article 29.

– Failing to fulfill its commitment in accordance with the procurement document and contract provisions, except for force majeure.

– Transferring or taking over the contract in violation of the provision of Article 16

1.6.Termination of the contract due to the contractor’s prohibited actions and behaviors before the contract:

The prohibited acts and behaviors specified in Article 17 of the Public Procurement Law No. 4734 must be committed by the contractor before the contract. These acts and behaviors performed before the contract must be determined by the administration while the contract is being executed. Article 21 of the Law numbered 4735 regulates that the administration will exercise its right of termination in this case. However, in accordance with the 2nd paragraph of the same article, “On the condition that at least 80% of the commitment has been completed and there is a public interest in the completion of the commitment, the administration, without terminating the contract, can ask from the contractor to fulfill its commitments and the contractor becomes obliged to fulfill its commitments when; a) There is not enough time for the re-procurement of the remaining part of the commitment due to its urgency, b) It is not possible to make the commitment to another contractor, c) The contractor’s prohibited act or behavior does not prevent the contractor from completing the commitment.” In this way, although the same contractor completes the work, the contractor is prohibited from participating in public tenders for a period of 45 days.

 

2.In addition to the termination reasons listed above and caused by the contractor, there are some specific termination reasons which are regulated under the Public Procurement Contracts Law and  cannot be attributed to both parties. These reasons are listed below:

 

2.1.Termination of the public procurement contract due to the emergence of force majeure:

Force majeure removes the responsibility of the person due to the disappearance of the causal link in the damages arising in cases where it is not possible for the person to foresee and take measures. Article 10 of the Public Procurement Contracts Law specifically regulates the concept of force majeure. In the said article, force majeure reasons are listed as natural disasters, legal strike, general epidemic, declaration of partial or full mobilization. However, in the same article, the possibility for the administration to expand this concept is provided with the expression of “similar cases to be determined by the institution when it is necessary”. In order for the said cases to be accepted as force majeure, it is mandatory that they are not caused by a fault of the contractor, that they are in a nature to prevent the fulfillment of the commitment, that the contractor is not able to remove this obstacle, that the contractor notifies the administration in writing within twenty days following the occurrence of the force majeure, and it is certified by the authorities.

In case of force majeure that is under the scope of the Law No. 4735, the contractor is relieved of his obligation to fulfill his debt.

 

2.2.Termination of the contract when it is understood that the work cannot be completed even with increased work:

While the concept of “work increase” was not included in the original version of the Public Procurement Contracts Law No. 4735, it is now regulated in Article 46 of the Law No. 4964, which amends the former. Accordingly, if it is understood that the work cannot be completed within the envisaged period, even though the work increase concept is employed, the contract may be terminated.

 

2.3.Termination of the contract due to work decrease:

According to the last paragraph of Article 24, the contractor has to complete the work for those which can be completed with a price less than 80% of the contract value. In this case, as for the actual expenses and the contractor profit, 80% of the contract price and 5% of the price difference between the contract prices and the amount of the work that he has completed will be paid to the contractor over the prices on the temporary acceptance date.

 

3.In addition to those listed above, due to the fact that public procurement contracts are in the nature of private law contracts, the reasons for termination of contracts that are regulated in the Turkish Code of Obligations can also be applicable. These reasons are: acquittal, performance, renewal, exchange, unification of the creditor and debtor titles, objective impossibility and the lapse of time. Furthermore, the contract may be terminated in cases of default of the administration, poor performance, impossibility due to the administration’s fault. However, these situations are not covered by this report and therefore will not be examined in detail.

 

B.Unjust Termination and Consequences

Termination of the contract by the administration for any reason other than the reasons attributable to the contractor listed above, that are regulated under the Turkish Code of Obligations or the Law on Public Procurement Contracts; and for reasons for which both parties are not liable will result in unjust termination.

As explained above, since public procurement contracts are considered as private law contracts, the evaluation of the results of unjust termination should be made according to the general provisions of the Turkish Code of Obligations. Likewise, there is no special regulation in the Public Procurement Contracts Law regarding the consequences of unjust termination.

Pursuant to the Turkish Code of Obligations, if the contract is terminated unlawfully, the party that unlawfully terminates the contract is obliged to cover the damages of the other party. As a matter of fact, in its decision numbered 2015-1253 E. and 2020-2986 K., the Council of State Approved the decision of the Civil Court of First Instance that the contractor should be compensated the damage incurred due to unjust termination from the administration.

Another consequence of unjust termination is related to the banning from participating in public procurement tenders. As explained in detail above, in case the contract is terminated by the administration, the contractor may be banned from public tenders. However, if the contract is unjustly terminated by the administration, the contractor will not be banned from public procurements. As a matter of fact, the 13th Chamber of the Council of State stated this issue in its decision dated 07.07.2020 as follows:

“Considering that it was decided to determine that the contract was unjustly terminated by the defendant party, there was no compliance with the law in the proceedings regarding the prohibition of the plaintiff from participating in public procurements on the grounds that the plaintiff did not fulfill its obligations arising from the contract. “

VI. Conclusion

As can be seen, there are many ways to terminate public procurement contracts. Although the administration seems to be the stronger party in such contracts, in the event of unjust termination of the contract by the administration, the contractor always has the opportunity to compensate for its damages. The contractor will not be aggrieved by arbitrary and unilateral actions of the administration.

[1] The Public Procurement Law

In Turkish : Kamu İhale Kanunu

[2] The Public Procurement Contracts Law

In Turkish: Kamu İhale Sözleşmeleri Kanunu

See the official text: “https://www.mevzuat.gov.tr/MevzuatMetin/1.5.4735.pdf”

[3] Vedat Buz, Establishment and Conditions for Validity of Public Procurement Contracts, Ankara, 2007 p.68

[4] Fikret Eren, Law of Obligations General Terms, Ankara, 2016, p.1286

[5] Decision of Court of Cassation for 15th Circuit dated19.01.2012  numbered, 2010/5414 E.and 2012/178K.

[6] Dursun Ali Demirboğa, Termination of Public Procurement Contracts, Ankara, 2013,  p. 64-65

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2021 REVISIONS TO ICC ARBITRATION RULES https://www.ongurpartners.com/2021-revisions-to-icc-arbitration-rules.html Wed, 24 Feb 2021 17:05:04 +0000 https://www.ongurpartners.com/?p=3199 2021 REVISIONS TO ICC ARBITRATION RULES New ICC Arbitration Rules entered into force on 1 January 2021[1] with the aim of increasing the efficiency, flexibility and transparency of ICC arbitrations. In a nutshell, the new provisions in the revised rules give more flexibility and authority to the arbitral tribunals to decide on procedural matters and […]

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2021 REVISIONS TO ICC ARBITRATION RULES

New ICC Arbitration Rules entered into force on 1 January 2021[1] with the aim of increasing the efficiency, flexibility and transparency of ICC arbitrations. In a nutshell, the new provisions in the revised rules give more flexibility and authority to the arbitral tribunals to decide on procedural matters and endorse an increased use of technology. Below is a brief overview of some of the noteworthy revisions and changes made to the 2021 Rules.

New Threshold for Expedited Arbitration

According to Appendix VI Art. 1(2) to the new ICC Rules, the new limit for fast-track arbitration has been raised to USD 3 million as opposed to the previous USD 2 million. This provision is applied if the arbitration agreement is entered into following the entering into force of the new Rules on 1.1.2021. The parties to the arbitration can opt-out from the automatic application of the expedited procedure, whereas the disputes with a value over the threshold may also be adjudicated under this procedure if the parties opt-in.

Arbitral Tribunals Revised Role in the Settlement of Disputes

Paragraph (h)(i) to Appendix IV has been revised to the effect that it now empowers the arbitral tribunal to “encourage” the parties to consider settlement, instead of merely “informing” them of such possibility. Accordingly, the arbitrators are now under a duty of encouraging the parties to settle all or part of their dispute by negotiation or through any form of amicable dispute resolution methods, such as ICC Mediation Rules.

New Rules relating to Multi-Party Arbitrations

  • Joinder of Additional Parties

The new paragraph 5 added to Article 7 provides discretion to the arbitral tribunal to grant a request for joinder by an additional party submitted after the constitution of the arbitral tribunal, whereas previously consent of all existing parties was required. Under the new rules, joinder of an additional party to a pending arbitration is possible, provided that such party consents to the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal and the Terms of Reference. It is also provided under this new provision that when exercising this discretion, the arbitral tribunal must consider all relevant circumstances, including the timing of this request, whether it has prima facie jurisdiction over the additional party, the impact of the joinder on the procedure and potential conflicts of interest.

  • Consolidation of Pending Cases

New Article 10 (b) expressly allows the consolidation of two or more pending ICC arbitration cases as below:

(i) where all the claims are made under the same arbitration agreement, the cases may be consolidated even if different parties are involved;

(ii) where the parties are the same and the disputes concern the same legal relationship, the cases may be consolidated even if the arbitration agreements are different, provided that these are compatible.

Both provisions that make joinder and consolidation easier in an ICC arbitration arguably increase the efficiency of the process as they reduce the risk of conflicting awards rendered in parallel proceedings. On the other hand, making joinder of an additional party and consolidation of cases easier can also render the arbitration more complex, lengthy and costly. For this reason, it is important for parties in multi-contractual relationships to consider beforehand whether joinder or consolidation is desirable for their relationship and be mindful of whether the arbitration agreements in different interrelated contracts are compatible.

Appointment of Arbitrators by the Court

Article 12(9) of the new Rules is probably the one that gives rise to most debate. The provision reads:

Notwithstanding any agreement by the parties on the method of constitution of the arbitral tribunal, in exceptional circumstances the Court may appoint each member of the arbitral tribunal to avoid a significant risk of unequal treatment and unfairness that may affect the validity of the award.

This provision is further clarified by the ICC in its Note to Parties and Arbitral Tribunals on the Conduct of the Arbitration under the ICC Rules of Arbitration[2] that it may apply in exceptional circumstances, e.g. when the arbitration agreement provides for one party to constitute the arbitral tribunal unilaterally, and such unilateral right is not admitted by the law at the seat of the arbitration.

While this provision constitutes a restriction on the right of a party to appoint its own arbitrator, it may be justified in the event of unconscionable arbitration agreements to ensure compliance with due process, given that the equality of the parties in an arbitration is a matter of public policy that must be taken into account by the national courts.

New Rules Aimed at Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

  • Possible Exclusion of Newly Appointed Party Counsel

Article 17(1) requires each party to promptly disclose any changes in counsel, and 17(2) allows the tribunal to exclude party counsel from participating in the arbitral proceedings to prevent conflicts of interest that may arise from such change. In particular, the new provision empowers the arbitral tribunal to take “any measure necessary” after consulting with the parties when a change in party representation after the constitution of the arbitral tribunal risks the emergence of a conflict of interest. Similar rules and guidelines can be found in the LCIA Arbitration Rules, as well as IBA … Party Representation.

While this provision may not be compatible with the principle of party autonomy, and in particular parties’ freedom to choose their representatives, exclusion of a party’s representative may nevertheless be appropriate in cases of dilatory tactics when a newly appointed party counsel might raise doubts as to an arbitrator’s independence and impartiality.

  • Disclosure of the Existence and Identity of Third Party Funders

In addition, Article 11(7) now requires the parties to disclose both the existence and identity of third party funding. This provision will have implications on the arbitrators’ duties of disclosure, as they will need to disclose any relationships with any entity that have a direct economic interest in the outcome of the arbitration.[3]

Increased Use of Technology

  • Online Hearings

Article 26(1) now empowers the arbitral tribunal to conduct hearings virtually, after consulting with the parties. In addition, under the revised Rules, Article 25(2), which provided for an in person hearing of the parties by the arbitral tribunal has been deleted.

  • Electronic submissions

Under the new Article 3(1), ICC has foregone the requirement that all submissions are sent in hard copies, by providing that all pleadings and written submissions are to be sent to the parties, arbitrators and the Secretariat.

New Rules concerning Investor-State Disputes

Finally, 2021 ICC Rules introduce specific provisions to be applied in investment treaty disputes.

Article 13(6) states that, unless all parties agree otherwise, where the arbitration is based on an arbitration agreement arising from a treaty, no arbitrator shall be of the same nationality as one of the parties, enhancing the neutrality of the arbitral tribunal. In addition, under Article 29(6), treaty based investment arbitrations are excluded from the scope of the emergency arbitrators provisions of the ICC Rules. This limitation does not extend to investor-State disputes arising from an investment contract, however, and emergency arbitration may still be available for such disputes.

Conclusion

As seen, the revised Rules entail several changes that will have an impact on how ICC arbitrations are conducted. It must however also be noted that, other than the Court’s new exceptional power to appoint the arbitral tribunal by disregarding the arbitration agreement, many of these changes essentially consolidate current ICC practice, and must therefore not come as a surprise to practitioners.

 

 

[1] ICC 2021 Arbitration Rules, https://iccwbo.org/dispute-resolution-services/arbitration/rules-of-arbitration/.

[2] International Court of Arbitration, Note to Parties and Arbitral Tribunals on the Conduct of the Arbitration under the ICC Rules of Arbitration dated 1.1.2021, para. 43, https://iccwbo.org/content/uploads/sites/3/2020/12/icc-note-to-parties-and-arbitral-tribunals-on-the-conduct-of-arbitration-english-2021.pdf (22.02.2021)

[3] ibid., para. 27.

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