Law and Compliance in Turkey

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Business Contract

General Observation
You must define precisely the rights and duties of the seller and the customer.
Law Applicable to the Contract
You must be particularly vigilant about the law applicable to contracts and the methods of conflict resolution. Turkey is a signatory to the Vienna Convention on international contracts. The Turkish legal system is complex, so it is recommended that international laws be used or an arbitration system be called on.
Advisable Incoterms
Language of Domestic Contract
Other Laws Which Can Be Used in Domestic Contracts
If Turkish law is not used, the law of the other contracting party must be chosen. For the sake of neutrality and equity, it is also possible, by contract, to leave the matter to an authority not of the nationality of the contracting parties.

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Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

Independence of Justice
Although the Turkish constitution guarantees independent judicial power, the government influences judges as it controls appointments, promotions and financing. 
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Turkey is practically a constitutional State and reforms are introduced where necessary with a view to joining the European Union. Foreign nationals can in principle expect to benefit from an impartial trial in judicial matters. Corruption is a big problem and it exists in all domains. The government is introducing laws to fight it, but they are not implemented severely enough. In general, there is a certain culture of tolerance towards corruption among the population.
The Language of Justice
Recourse to an Interpreter
Legal Similarities
The main source of the law is the constitution of 1982. The country's judicial system is based on a system of civil law derived from different systems in continental Europe:
- Civil and company law close to the German model
- Law of obligations inspired by the Swiss code
- Penal law inspired by the Italian Penal Code
- Administrative Law inspired by that of France

Turkey is a member of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

The Different Legal Codes

Banking regulations
Company Law
Investment Law
Turkish Code of Commerce
Contract and property Law Turkish Civil Code
Code of Civil Procedure (CCP)
Labor Law Labor Code
Penal Law New Penal Code (TCK)
Code of Penal Procedure (CMK)
Customs Law Customs Code
Checking National Laws Online
Constitutional Council
Law on-line
Other Useful Resources
Ministry of Justice
Country Guides
LexMundi, A guide to doing business in Turkey.
Mymerhaba, Turkey Guide

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The Jurisdictions

Constitutional Court Verifies that laws passed by Parliament conform to the Constitution.
State Council
Administrative Tribunals
Disputes with the State, the Administration and local Authorities concerning their decisions.
Magistrate's Court



County Court

Court of Appeal

Third party liability and insurance, civil status of persons, real estate
Supreme Court of Appeal In charge of reviewing the decisions and judgements given by courts of justice from point of conformity to law, to ensure the unification in the legal practice and to enlighten the interpretation of provisions of codes.
Court of Assizes Criminal liability (bankruptcy, misappropriation of funds, complicity, etc.)
Commercial Tribunals (Ticaret Mahkemesi) Competent for commercial disputes
Industrial Tribunal (Is mahkemesi) Competent for disputes relative to work contracts, disputes between employers and employees
Revenue Court (TCA) - Audits
- On the request of the Ministry of Finance, it gives advisory opinions.
Military High Court of Justice Special Court of Justice reserved for the military.

Court Officials

Lawyer (Avukat)
The lawyer's role is to inform his clients about their rights and obligations. He can also represent them in court and make a speech for the defense.
Clerk of the Court (Zabit katibi)
All through the procedure, he will write down the exchanges, declarations and observations.
Bailiff (Icra)
He is a legal officer responsible for serving legal process and for enforcing court decisions.
Judge (Hakim)
He is the one who decides if the law has been broken or not, as well as the penalties which ensue.
State Prosecutor (Cumhuriyet Savcisi)
He is a magistrate who represents the Prosecution in the county court.
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