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Information Note on Enforcement of EU Countries’ Court Judgements in the Republic of Turkey
Enforcement of EU Countries’ Court Judgements in Turkey
Topic: Enforcement of Decisions Rendered by the Courts of EU Member States in the Republic of Turkey.
Court decisions rendered by a foreign state court are passed through the recognition and enforcement process and afterwards have the effect of final judgment and definitive evidence in another country. Essentials and procedures for recognition and enforcement of foreign court judgments in the Republic of Turkey are stipulated in Turkish Law on Private International Law and Procedural Law (“MOHUK”) No. 5718.
Enforcement process must be exercised to implement EU member states’ court decisions in the Republic of Turkey at the competent court with the proper venue.
What is Enforcement under Turkish Law?
For the foreign court decision to have a judgment and effect outside the country where it was rendered, the relevant decision must be recognized and enforced in the target country. With the enforcement decision, the foreign court decision becomes enforceable. The enforcement procedure must be applied by filing a lawsuit.
Prerequisites For Enforcement (Prerequisites) – According to the Article 50 of the MOHUK No. 5718
“(1) Enforcement of court decrees rendered by foreign courts in the course of civil lawsuits in Turkey which are final pursuant to the law of that foreign state shall be subject to the enforcement decision of the competent Turkish court.” In this regard, the prerequisites for recognition and enforcement are as follows:
- There must be a final judgement of a foreign court.
- The court decree must concern a civil lawsuit (not a criminal suit). In other words, it must be related to a private or commercial law dispute.
- The judgement must be passed on all legal remedies and finalized in the home country.
What Are The Essential Conditions For Enforcement? (Article 54)
According to Article 54 of MOHUK No. 5718,
(1) The competent court shall render enforcement subject to the following conditions:
a) There is an agreement based on reciprocity between the Republic of Turkey and the state where the Turkish courts render the rulings in that state.
b) The judgment must have been given on matters not falling within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Turkish courts or, in the condition of being contested by the defendant, the judgment must not have been given by a state court which has accepted himself competent even if there is not a real relation between the court and the subject or the parties of the lawsuit.
c) The court decree shall not openly be contrary to public order.
d) According to the laws of that place, the person against whom enforcement is requested was not duly summoned according to the laws of that foreign state or was not represented in that court, or the court decree was pronounced in this person default or absence. The person has not objected to the enforcement based on the foregoing grounds above to the Turkish court.
In the light of the previous, essentials of enforcement of the foreign court judgments in the Republic of Turkey can be summarized as follows:
- There must be reciprocity between the parties.
- The decision should not be about an issue regarding Turkey’s exclusive competence.
- The decision should not be in conflict with public order.
- The decision should have been made by duly summoning the person about whom the decision has been made in the relevant trial.
As a result, if the conditions mentioned above are met, the enforcement of the court decision in Turkey will be possible.
What is The Competent Court in Enforcement Cases?
According to Article 51 of MOHUK No. 5718, the court of the first instance is the competent court for enforcement cases in Turkish Law. Turkish Court of Cassation has ruled in one of its precedents that the competent court for the issues regarding commercial cases are the commercial court of the first instance, in line with the regulations stated at MOHUK.
In this manner, in the given case, as the parties are legal entities and the court verdict is on commercial work, the enforcement action shall be commenced at the commercial court of the first instance in Turkey. Recognition and enforcement decisions may be requested from the residential place court of the person against the enforcement are requested, if the person does not have a residential area the place this person lives, if there is none of these from one of the Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir courts.
What is Security Money Deposition in Recognition and Enforcement Cases?
According to Article 48/2 of MOHUK No. 5718, reciprocity is required to exempt the foreigner from the guarantee. Reciprocity can be provided by a bilateral agreement signed between two states or an international agreement to which both states are parties. It can be provided in the form of de jure or de facto reciprocity. EU Countries and Turkey is also party and to the Hague Convention on Civil Procedure, to which many countries are parties, which provides for exemption from guarantees.
What Are The Court Fees in Recognition and Enforcement Cases?
Under Article 4 of the Turkish Fees Law No. 492, fees are charged in accordance with the tariff numbered (1), according to the value, type and nature of the thing that has been sentenced in the lawsuits to be filed for the enforcement of the judgments given by a foreign court. Tariff No. 1 is proportional fee provisions, and it is determined by law that recognition and enforcement cases are subject to standard proportional fees applied in Turkey.
What is The Estimated Time Period to be Spent in Recognition and Enforcement Cases?
Recognition and enforcement cases usually take between 6 months and one year on average. Although the enforcement case is concluded between six months and one year, the final process might take up to two or three years. There will be the opportunity to apply to a higher court against the enforcement decision.
What Are The Legal Remedies Against The Enforcement Decision and Enforceability of The Enforcement Decision?
When the issue is evaluated in terms of the legal remedy that can be applied against the court decisions regarding the enforcement of foreign court decisions, according to MOHUK No. 5718 Article 57/2, appeals of enforcement decisions are subject to general provisions.
According to the regulation in MOHUK No. 5718 Article 57/f.2, the appeal will suspend the execution of the decision regarding the acceptance of the enforcement request. Although the appeal of the enforcement decision suspends the execution of the decision, it is possible to issue an interim attachment order in order to secure the benefits arising from the enforcement during the appeal period.
Article Keywords: Court Judgements, Enforcement of EU Countries’ Court Judgements, Enforcement of EU Countries’ Court Judgements in the Republic of Turkey.
Related Article For Further Reading: Foreign Court Decisions in Turkey: Recognition and Enforcement.