DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN TURKEY
CD: Could you provide an overview of the current dispute resolution landscape in Turkey? How would you describe the infrastructure and processes in place to support dispute resolution?
Çetinkaya: Commercial disputes are on the rise in Turkey due to recent economic instability arising from local and regional political fragility. The Turkish lira weakening against the US dollar and euro should have fuelled exports; however, regional instability hindered exports by Turkish companies. Therefore, manufacturers relying on local sales and regional exports have suffered as they could not turn their products into cash. As a result, they could not make payments to their suppliers during recent months, giving rise to lawsuits, collection proceedings and applications to delay or execute bankruptcies. While it was hoped that the recent elections would end economic volatility, it seems the recent political crisis between Turkey and Russia will add another problematic dimension to cross-border deals and transactions. Potential exists for commercial cases and commercial or treaty arbitrations to arise, given that Turkish companies in Russia are now receiving hostile treatment, several Russian state-supported projects have been are suspended and Russia has imposed sanctions over certain goods exported from Turkey. Commercial disputes are heard by commercial courts which are in all major cities where disputes above certain amount are handled by a council composed of three judges. Commercial court judges are appointed from among the most senior judges, having considerable experience. Although expert opinions are a decisive factor in commercial cases, the manner in which commercial courts approach disputes in Turkey has a settled method and reliability, compared to other developing countries.
Jan-Mar 2016 issue