Latest updates

Termination prohibition, unilateral unpaid leave and short-time working allowance extended
Gün + Partners
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Turkey
  • 15 July 2020

Pursuant to two presidential decrees recently published in the Official Gazette, the termination prohibition and unilateral unpaid leave, which were to expire by 17 July 2020, have been extended until 17 August 2020. Further, the short-time working allowance granted due to COVID-19 has been extended for one month.

Seizure of goods before liquidation directorate: an effective way to combat counterfeiting activities
Deriş Patents and Trademarks Agency
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • 06 July 2020

Although customs recordals are one of the most efficient ways to combat counterfeiting activities in Turkey, if goods are smuggled and suspended by customs officers or the police ex officio under the Anti-smuggling Law, IP rights holders cannot act against any suspected counterfeiting activities. However, sales of counterfeit goods may be prevented if IP rights holders are aware of the suspended goods before the directorate general of liquidation and report any suspected infringements expeditiously.

Recent amendments to law on protection of competition
ELIG Gurkaynak Attorneys-at-Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Turkey
  • 02 July 2020

After rounds of revisions and failed enactment attempts over a span of several years, the proposal for amendments to Law 4054 on the Protection of Competition has finally been approved by Parliament. According to the proposal's recital, the amendments to Law 4054 aim to embody the Turkish Competition Authority's 20-plus years' enforcement experience and bring Turkish competition law closer to EU competition law.

Attachment of debts arising from letters of guarantee
Selvi & Ertekin
  • Banking & Financial Services
  • Turkey
  • 19 June 2020

Letters of guarantee are an instrument under which a bank guarantees the payment of a certain amount to a beneficiary on request if an obligation undertaken by the applicant against such beneficiary is unfulfilled. In practice, a debtor's creditors are often willing to directly levy an attachment on a letter of guarantee. This article outlines letters of guarantee in the Turkish banking sector.

Unbreakable deadlock in consumer disputes: mandatory mediation and solution proposals
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Turkey
  • 11 June 2020

Bill 2/2735, which has been presented to the president of the Grand National Assembly, proposes that actions filed directly before the consumer courts be subject to mandatory mediation before proceeding to court adjudication. This article examines Turkey's success with regard to the fair and swift resolution of consumer disputes and explores how the bill can add to this success.

Getting back to work: how to prepare your workplace for the new normal post COVID-19
Gün + Partners
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Turkey
  • 10 June 2020

Turkey is currently going through the so-called 'normalisation phase' of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the regular weekend curfew being lifted, the interprovincial travel restrictions being removed and the age limit of people subject to continuous curfew being lowered as of 1 June 2020. This article examines what this means for employers and how they can prepare for a return to the workplace.

Compensatory working under COVID-19 measures
Gün + Partners
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Turkey
  • 20 May 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on 11 March 2020, the date on which the first case in Turkey was discovered, has inevitably had a significant impact on economic life. The measures taken to minimise this impact eventually resulted in labour law having to be restructured according to the pandemic's circumstances. In this respect, the duration of compensatory working, which is stipulated under the Labour Act, has been increased.

Suspension of judicial terms due to COVID-19 extended
Gün + Partners
  • Litigation
  • Turkey
  • 19 May 2020

Under Decision 2480 on the Extension of the Suspension of Terms for the Prevention of Losses of Judicial Rights, the suspension of terms stipulated in Law 7226, which aimed to prevent any loss of rights in regard to trials due to the measures taken to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, has been extended. However, this date will be re-evaluated if the risk of spreading the virus is eliminated before the extension expires.

Status of rebranding and re-marking goods under IP Code
Deriş Patents and Trademarks Agency
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • 18 May 2020

A third party's unauthorised modification or replacement of original packaging, product codes or trademarks to produce misleading claims of origin and eliminate a trademark's origin function is considered trademark infringement by means of rebranding and re-marking in principle, even though the goods are basically original. This article examines these actions within the scope of common trademark infringement and counterfeiting and the legal consequences of re-marking under the Industrial Property Code.

Licensing during COVID-19 pandemic: compulsory or not?
Deriş Patents and Trademarks Agency
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • 11 May 2020

Since the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, compulsory licensing has remained a hot topic in the IP world. As of 30 April 2020, Turkey had 120,204 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Although the official authorities have so far made no public announcements concerning compulsory licensing, this article sets out why Turkey has a significant role to play in the discussion.

Prohibition on termination and unilateral unpaid leave enters into force
Gün + Partners
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Turkey
  • 29 April 2020

The Law on Minimising the Impacts of the New Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak on Economic and Social Life and the Amendment of Certain Laws recently entered into force. The most significant amendments include the prohibition on employers terminating employment contracts for three months as of 17 April 2020 and the provision that employers can impose unpaid leave without an employee's consent during the three-month prohibition period.

Impact of COVID-19 on mergers and acquisitions
Kayum & Demir
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • Turkey
  • 22 April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting not only public health, but also global business operations and the economic sector. In light of reports that mergers and acquisitions are being delayed, it is important to determine the impact of COVID-19 on M&A transactions and implement measures to mitigate the risks associated therewith. To that end, this article addresses whether COVID-19 qualifies as force majeure or hardship for contractual purposes and its impact on parties' mutual obligations.

Trademark applications in bad faith: an elusive IP law issue
Deriş Patents and Trademarks Agency
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • 20 April 2020

In an IP context, bad faith is a subjective state based on an applicant's intentions when filing to register a trademark. Trademark practice and law were harmonised under the Industrial Property (IP) Code, which cites application in bad faith as a grounds for opposition. However, as neither the IP Code nor any other Turkish law sets out a precise definition of 'bad faith', the term is open to interpretation.

COVID-19: suspended proceedings and judicial terms
Gün + Partners
  • Litigation
  • Turkey
  • 14 April 2020

The Law on the Amendment of Certain Laws 7226 recently entered into force upon publication in the Official Gazette. Pursuant to Law 7226, the procedural terms will be suspended until 30 April 2020 in order to prevent any loss of rights in regard to trials due to the measures taken during the COVID-19 outbreak.

COVID-19: TCA announces zero-tolerance policy towards excessive price increases
ELIG Gurkaynak Attorneys-at-Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Turkey
  • 09 April 2020

The Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) recently issued a series of public announcements emphasising that it has observed excessive price increases in the food sector – particularly for fresh fruit and vegetables – during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, to protect consumers, the TCA has stressed that it will continue to monitor these price increases and the market players that have contributed thereto.

Re-establishment of rights as remedy for requesting European patent validation
Deriş Patents and Trademarks Agency
  • Intellectual Property
  • Turkey
  • 06 April 2020

In a landmark decision, a first-instance court recently ruled on the re-establishment of rights as a remedy for requesting the validation of a European patent where its Turkish translation has not been filed within three months of the date on which the mention of the grant is published. The decision also addressed the recognition of a European patent application as a validly filed national application.

Communique on banking fees and commissions published
Selvi & Ertekin
  • Banking & Financial Services
  • Turkey
  • 03 April 2020

The Communique on Procedures and Principles Regarding Fees to be Collected from Commercial Customers by Banks was published on 10 February 2020. The communique aims to determine the type, quality and maximum amount or rate of fees to be collected for providing products and services, ensure the accuracy of concepts and terms, prevent overpricing and increase the predictability and transparency of transactions conducted between Turkish banks and their commercial customers.

No separate claim for interest needed when increasing value of claim in dispute
Gün + Partners
  • Litigation
  • Turkey
  • 24 March 2020

In a May 2019 decision, the Supreme Court General Assembly on the Unification of Judgments concluded that the plaintiff in a partial monetary action need not reiterate its claim for interest when increasing the value of the claim if it claimed interest for its principal receivables in the plaint petition and the claim of interest will automatically apply for the amount which is increased later on.

What does labour law say about COVID-19?
Gün + Partners
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Turkey
  • 18 March 2020

The coronavirus pandemic will inevitably affect Turkish labour law; as part of employers' duty to protect employees, they must take occupational health and safety measures and protect employees' health and physical and mental integrity. This article outlines employers' duties in this respect.

Common pitfalls in M&A deals and how to avoid them
Kayum & Demir
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • Turkey
  • 19 February 2020

This article examines some of the key considerations for buyers and sellers when entering into an M&A transaction and how best to navigate deal-related risks. For example, in Turkey, M&A deals are generally not subject to regulatory approval. However, depending on the turnovers of the buyer, seller and target, a proposed transaction may be subject to Competition Board approval. Further, M&A deals in some regulated sectors (eg, energy and telecoms) must be approved by the governmental authorities.