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Litigation in Turkey

Litigation in Turkey

Updated on Monday 18th April 2016

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What are the types of Courts in Turkey?

The Turkish legal system is divided in civic and military courts. The civilian justice is formed by the court of justice, criminal courts, supreme courts (the Constitutional Court, the Court of Cassation and the Court of Accounts) and administrative justice.
The military justice is represented by the military courts: the Supreme Military Court of Appeal, the Military Court of Cassation and the High Court of Administration. An important aspect is that the military courts are independent from the civil courts; our team of Turkish lawyers can provide you with assistance on the legal system applicable in Turkey

What are the responsibilities of the courts in Turkey?

The courts of justice are first instance courts and can be found in every city and district; they can take the form of civil peace courts and basic courts. The civil peace courts cover the cases related to the minor offences related to the Code of Civil Procedure and are formed by a single judge, while the basic courts are the first instance in criminal and civil cases related to the Code of Civil Procedure and other laws and are formed by at least three judges.
There is at least one criminal court in every Turkish city and district, responsible for hearing minor criminal cases (with a punishment not exceeding five years). The criminal courts are formed by a single judge.
The Central Criminal Courts consist in three judges (from which a president is elected) and a public prosecutor. They are responsible for hearing cases where the crimes involve a penalty of over five years. The central criminal courts are located in every Turkish city.
The Constitutional Court must verify and decide the constitutionality of the laws and decrees, audit finances of political parties, check the decisions of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey regarding the revoking of immunities of deputies or the removal of members of parliament. 
It also judges the following for crimes related to their offices: members of the supreme courts, the President, the Chief and the Deputy Republic Prosecutors, the members of the Council of Ministers, the chairman and members of the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors and of the Supreme Council of Public Accounts. It is formed by eleven members and the decision taken by it cannot be amended.
The Court of Cassation is auditing the judgments of the criminal courts, justice courts and examination courts. It is considered the last instance in these cases. There are two chambers of the Court of Cassation: the civil law chamber and the penal law chamber.
The Court of Accounts is responsible for auditing the accounts related to the income, costs and property of government departments financed by budgets.
Administrative appellate courts are based in every Turkish province and hear cases regarding bankruptcies, citizenship matters and probate.
The Administrative Supreme Court is the last instance in cases heard by the administrative appellate courts.
The military courts hear cases involving military personnel. Its decisions may be appealed in the Military Court of Cassation.
The Military High Court of Administration is the instance responsible for hearing cases involving military personnel involved in administrative cases.


Litigation legislation in Turkey 

Foreign investors who need assistance for resolving any type of legal problem prescribed by the Turkish legislation can request for advice from our team of lawyers; they can also assist in litigation cases
As a general rule, the main dispute resolution in Turkey relates to litigation, which is performed in accordance with the main rule of law provided by the Code of Civil Procedure. Arbitration and mediation are legal procedures to which natural persons or legal entities can appeal as well; in the last years, these two types of dispute resolution measures became more popular in Turkey
Commercial litigation can be brought to claims in a period of ten years, under the provisions of the Turkish Code of Obligations. However, another period of five years is prescribed for several legal aspects, such as:
rent and interest;
claims in the construction sector;
claims from artwork;
claims from a partnership agreement. 
According to the Turkish legislation, a commercial dispute can be addressed to the commercial courts of first instance, but several litigation cases can be addressed only to specialized courts, as prescribed by the Code of Civil Procedure. 
The Article 4 of the Code stipulates that the following types of commercial disputes have to be concluded in a specialized court: 
tenancy disputes;
claims related to the sharing of movable and immovable property;
claims related to partnership agreements.
It is important to know that litigation cases in Turkey can be addressed to a court only through the legal representation of a Turkish lawyer
Our attorneys can provide assistance for all the stages of a litigation case in Turkey, which can refer to the preliminary examinations, investigation on the case, the hearing and the appeal. 
If you are interested in finding out more details about the legal system in Turkey, you may contact our Turkish lawyers.