HOW TO SERVE LEGAL PAPERS IN TURKEY

This article will provide guidance regarding Turkey’s Process Service.  As a constitutional republic and a presidential representative democracy, Turkey has a pluriform multi-party system. As a result of a vote in 1982, the present constitution outlines the form of government, as well as the principles and standards by which the state should conduct itself. Aside from that, the constitution outlines the people’s rights and responsibilities and establishes guidelines for delegating and exercising Turkey’s sovereignty. 

There are three tiers of government in Turkey’s unitary system: [A.] the national, [B.] the provincial, and [C.] the municipal. Executive and legislative representatives chosen by district residents are commonplace in local governments, which divide their tasks between city governments and districts. For administrative reasons, Turkey is split into eighty-one provinces. 

HOW ARE DISPUTES SETTLED IN TURKEY

Litigation is the primary means through which big business disputes are settled in Turkey. On the basis of civil litigation, each party prepares its own case. Every allegation, defense, and piece of Turkey Process Service evidence presented to the court must be heard by the judge. However, the judge has the authority to make a legal determination on their own. The court has exclusive authority over the conduct of Turkey Process Service.

Recent years have seen an increase in the use of alternative dispute resolution procedures (ADR). ISTAC’s establishment has resulted in a significant rise in the number of conflicts being resolved via arbitration. First, mediation has been required for conflicts involving labor law, then for those involving business money claims, and ultimately for those involving consumer law problems. 

In the Turkish legal system, internet dispute resolution is not available. Since 2001, however, the National Judiciary Informatics System (UYAP) has played a critical role in courtroom procedure. The UYAP makes it possible for judicial bodies, administrative entities, and litigants to electronically record case materials. 

COURT SYSTEM IN TURKEY

The commercial courts are often consulted in the resolution of major business issues. A three-judge panel is common in business courts. Large business disputes are handled by a three-judge panel, whereas smaller issues are handled by a single judge.

Cases involving enforcement procedures are also dealt with by the enforcement courts. The Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) created a three-tier appellate court structure, comprising [A.]courts of the first instance. [B.] courts of appeal in different regions of the country, and [C.] the Court of Cassation, the highest court in the land.

There were regional appellate courts in a number of locations, including Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Antalya. They began operating on July 20, 2016. 2018 was the first year that obligatory pre-action mediation was implemented for labor disputes, which was followed by commercial monetary claims and consumer law-related issues in later years. The case will be dismissed if the parties do not seek mediation prior to filing the lawsuit in these sorts of cases.

PRE-TRIAL ACTION

For business disputes involving TRY500,000 or more, the written Turkey Process Service is the primary technique to be employed. For example, a claim, answer, rebuttal, and rejoinder may be submitted by the parties under this Turkey Process Service method.

Conflicts of less than TRY500,000 and for some sorts of disputes (labor disputes; petitions for temporary remedies such as preliminary injunction, provisional attachment; consumer disputes,) the parties need only submit a claim and answer petitions, and no further petition exchanges are permitted. These are expedited Turkey Process Service methods for a claim. 

During the major Turkey Process Service stages, there is no set time restriction. However, certain procedural acts, such as replying to petitions, have time constraints (which must be done within two weeks). Within two weeks of receiving an expert report, parties may object to it or appeal a final judgment.

When a party files a lawsuit in court, it is called a ‘claim petition’ by the court system. In Turkey, one may use the UYAP to submit a lawsuit online. The claim petition is considered filed in the court file on the day on which the case is regarded to have started in the courtroom. Among other things, Turkey Process Service must include: [A.]  the name of the court that has jurisdiction over the case; [B.] parties’ names and addresses; [C.] the claimant’s Turkish ID number and the claimant’s non-Turkish passport number; [D.] information about the lawyers, if applicable; [E.] complaint and amount of money sought. [F.] brief summary of the facts and [G.] notes on the evidence if any is provided.

The court will issue the opening minutes and serve the petition to the defendant after the claim petition is filed. The defendant has two weeks from the date of Turkey Process Service to file a response petition with the court. Up to one month underwritten process and two weeks under the streamlined method might be requested by the defendant.

It is essential that the response petition have all of the same Turkey Process Service features as the original claim petition. There must be a response petition if the defendant has any preliminary objections (such as an objection to the court’s competence).

ENFORCEMENT OF A LOCAL JUDGEMENT

By submitting an application to the local execution office, the claimant may enforce a local decision. The defendant has seven days after receiving Turkey Process Service of the payment order to comply with the enforcement order. Otherwise, the claimant has the option of requesting the attachment of any assets the defendant may possess.

For conflicts including a foreign element, the parties have the option of selecting a controlling law. As a result, transactions involving real estate or the use of real estate are controlled by local law. In cases where the application of foreign law is openly incompatible with Turkish public order or if Turkish law is immediately applicable regardless of the choice of law, Turkish law may be implemented (partly or totally).

Turkey’s International Private and Civil Procedure Code place emphasis on the choice of law made by the parties. Hence the same norm applies if the parties choose Turkish law as the legal framework for their case. When the parties to a contract agree on the controlling law, the law does not need the application of another law since it is more closely related to the issue.

The Turkish courts generally adhere to a contract’s choice of law, as long as it is consistent with Turkish law. However, the court might interpret the Turkish public order liberally and use Turkish law instead of the law selected by the parties in specific instances.

ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN JUDGEMENTS IN TURKEY

For contractual disputes, contracting parties are free to choose the Turkey Process Service jurisdiction in which to litigate, provided that the subject matter falls within the jurisdiction of Turkish courts (such as disputes relating to employment, insurance, and consumer contracts). If the foreign court is found to be incompetent or if the parties fail to assert Turkish court jurisdiction, the matter will be heard by Turkish courts.

If the jurisdiction provision in the contract is ambiguous, the Turkish courts will normally hear the matter in Turkey. The Convention on Civil Procedure 1954 (Hague Convention) and the Convention on Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters 1965 (HCCH Convention) are both signed by Turkey. It is thus possible to serve an international procedure in Turkey using these Conventions.

Turkey Process Service is governed by bilateral agreements between Turkey and the foreign nation in issue if one has been reached. The Hague Civil Procedure Convention and the HCCH Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters of 1970 both recognize Turkey as a party. It is thus necessary to adhere to the norms of these conventions when gathering evidence from a witness in Turkey for use in another jurisdiction.

If Turkey and the other nation have reached a bilateral agreement, the conditions of that agreement will govern. To determine if reciprocity exists, the Turkish courts will look at whether or not the other country agreed to these Conventions or has otherwise ratified them. The norms of international legal aid regulate the method for collecting evidence if reciprocity is established.

To enforce a foreign decision in local courts,  Turkey and the nation where the foreign decision was delivered must have contractual or de facto reciprocity on the execution of foreign judgments.

An international court will only enforce a judgment that is final, binding, and enforceable within the host country’s laws. Turkey’s courts have exclusive jurisdiction over matters that fall outside of the scope of this judgment. Additionally, a major requirement is that the Turkish public order must not be violated by this judgment. 

In addition, Turkish courts may enforce judgments from numerous countries, including Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, on the basis of the reciprocity principle. As the laws and practices of each US state vary, the ability to execute a US decision relies on the nature of the dispute and where it was issued.

Turkey is a party to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters.  Requests should be completed in duplicate and submitted with two sets of the documents to be served and translations directly to Turkey’s Central Authority for the Hague Service Convention.  The person in the United States executing the request form should be either an attorney or clerk of court.  The Turkey Process Service applicant should include the title attorney at law or clerk of court on the identity and address of the applicant and signature/stamp fields.  Turkey formally objected to Turkey Process Service under Article 10 and does not permit service via postal channels

Turkey is also a party to the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters.  The Central Authority for Turkey for the Hague Evidence Convention designated to receive letters of request for the compulsion is the Ministry of Justice.  Requests for compulsion of evidence under the Hague Evidence Convention are transmitted directly from the requesting court or person in the United States to the Turkish Central Authority and do not require transmittal via diplomatic channels.  Requests must also be submitted in duplicate with Turkish translations.  

If the documents and their attachments which are requested for service under Article 5 of the Convention are prepared in Turkish or that a translation in Turkish be attached with the original documents, The  Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office performs the Turkey Process Service via post offices in accordance with their domestic law.  On the other hand, the documents transmitted without its translation are served in accordance with Article 5 (2) of the Convention. In such a case, the addressee may refuse to accept the documents by reason of not having the translated documents, so in this form of Turkey Process Service, the performance of the service is up to the Addressee’s will. No fee is charged for Turkey Process Service.

Voluntary depositions of U.S. citizen witnesses may be conducted in Turkey, provided no compulsion is used. Voluntary depositions of Turkish and third-country nationals require prior permission from the Turkish Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention. Oral depositions or depositions on written questions may be taken on notice by U.S. consular officers or by private attorneys from the United States or Turkey at the U.S. Embassy, one of the U.S. Consulates, or at another location such as a hotel or office. If the services of a U.S. consular officer are required to administer an oath to the witness, interpreter, and stenographer, such arrangements must be made in advance with the U.S. embassy or consulate directly.

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Sources

1. There are 973 districts in all, separated into provinces.

2. Hearings may also be conducted remotely using a video and audio platform at the request of one of the parties or ex officio. As of 15 September 2020, this practice had been implemented in several cities and courts, and at the time of this writing, the number of courts with remote hearing equipment had reached 535.

3. Decisions made before 20 July 2016 will continue to be subject to the previous two-tier system until they are fully implemented. 2

4. The following is a breakdown of the key phases of civil litigation:

  1. Petitions are being exchanged.
  2. Preliminary hearings have begun.
  3. Phase of investigation.
  4. Disciplinary hearings.
  5. Decision.
  6. Attract (if required).

5. Article 24 of the International Private and Civil Procedure Code states that if there is no choice of law, the contract shall be governed by the law that has the closest link to the agreement. When a contract is entered into as the consequence of commercial or professional activity and is governed by a particular state’s law, that state’s law will be seen to have a closer link to it than a state’s law that isn’t involved in those activities. However, if there is a tighter link between the contract and another law, that law will take precedence.

6. Turkey has signed bilateral treaties with countries such as Albania, Algeria, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Oman, Poland, Republic of Turkish Northern Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan to enforce foreign court judgments.

7.U.S. Embassy Ankara

110 Atatürk Blvd.

Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara

Turkey

Telephone: +(90) (312) 455-5555

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(90) (312) 455-5555

Fax: +(90) (312) 466-5684

Contact American Citizen Services Ankara

Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Istanbul

Istinye Mahallesi, Üç Şehitler Sokak No.2

Istinye 34460 – Istanbul, Turkey

Telephone: +(90) (212) 335-9000

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(90) (212) 335-9000

Fax: +(90) (212) 335-9102

Contact American Citizen Services Istanbul

U.S. Consulate Adana

Girne Bulvari No. 212,

Güzelevler Mahallesi, Yüregir

Adana, Turkey

Telephone: +(90) (322) 455-4100

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(90) (322) 455-4100

Fax: +(90)(322) 455-4141

Contact American Citizen Services Adana

U.S. Consular Agent – Izmir

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(90) (312) 455-5555

Izmir@state.gov

8. In such a case, documents may also be served against the addressee’s will, so this method is generally not allowed.

9. Requests from Turkey to Obtain Evidence in the United States:  The U.S. Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention is the Office of International Judicial Assistance, Civil Division, Department of Justice, 1100 L St., N.W., Room 11006, Washington, D.C. 20530.

10. Directorate General for Foreign Relations and EU Affairs

Ministry of Justice

Adalet Bakanlığı Ek Binası

Namık Kemal Mah. Milli Müdafaa Caddesi No:22

Kızılay Çankaya / ANKARA

Telephone:+90 (312) 414 80 51

Fax:+90 (312) 219 45 23

E-mail: diabgm@adalet.gov.tr

General website: http://diabgm.adalet.gov.tr

Languages spoken by staff:Turkish, English

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