Legal Environment

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In this page: Business Contract | Intellectual Property | Legal Framework of Business | International Dispute Resolution


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
Incoterms 2010
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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Intellectual Property

National Organisations
Turkey is adapting its legal framework of industrial property to fit with the directives of the EU. The main advances in this domain are the creation of the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TPTO), the introduction of a regime of penal sanctions and the updating of the Law on Trademarks through a series of decrees.
Turkey continues to implement its intellectual property rights (IPR) law, the Industrial Property Code No. 6769, which entered into force in 2017.
Regional Organisations
For the protection of patents: the European Patents Office.
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

National Regulation and International Agreements

Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Law No. 6769 of December 22, 2016, on Industrial Property
20 years maximum Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Law No. 6769 of December 22, 2016, on Industrial Property
10 years Trademark Law Treaty
Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
Law No. 6769 of December 22, 2016, on Industrial Property
10 years, renewable once  
Law of Literary and Artistic Works No. 5846 (Law No. 5846)
During the life of the author and until 70 years after death Berne convention For the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
Industrial Models
Law No. 6769 of December 22, 2016, on Industrial Property
10 years  

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Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Reforms have been 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 has been reported in certain cases; however, the Government is continually enforcing laws to fight it.
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
Guide to Law Online: Turkey
Other Useful Resources
Ministry of Justice
Country Guides
GlobaLex, Guide to the Turkish Public Law Order and Legal Research

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
Court of Cassation In charge of reviewing the decisions and judgments 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
Labour Court (Is Mahkemesi) Competent for disputes relative to work contracts, disputes between employers and employees
Turkish Court of Accounts (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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International Dispute Resolution

This solution exists but it is not implemented.
There are no arbitration structures so conciliation generally takes place directly between lawyers. The Turkish Government is working on judiciary reforms that aims at shortening the duration of judicial proceeding and bring greater efficiency to the Turkish judiciary system through specialized courts.
Arbitration Law
International Arbitration Law n°4686 (2001)
Conformity to International Commercial Arbitration Rules
Party to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
Appointment of Arbitrators
Agreement of both parties.
Arbitration Procedure
Both parties can decide the procedure and the rules, as long as they conform to the law.
The arbitrator must usually give his decision within one year.
Permanent Arbitration Bodies

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Latest Update: April 2024