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Law No. 7445 on Amendments to the Enforcement and Bankruptcy Law and Other Certain Laws ("Law") was published in the Official Gazette dated April 5, 2023 and numbered 32154. Some important amendments were made to the enforcement and bankruptcy law, as well as criminal laws, commercial law, and mediation law.

Amendments to Enforcement and Bankruptcy Law No. 2004

•    The decision of the execution office regarding the seizure of a residence must be approved by the execution court.

Pursuant to Article 79/a of the Enforcement and Bankruptcy Law ("EBL"), the execution officer must immediately submit the seizure decision to the execution court for approval in if it is determined that the place requested to be seized is a residence, and the judge must issue his/her decision within three days at the latest.  Court approval will not be sought for precautionary seizures.

•     The seizure of personal belongings of the debtor and family members residing in the same house, as well as all home furnishings for common use, has been prohibited.

Pursuant to Article 82/1-b.3 of the EBL, personal belongings of family members and all home furnishings for the common use of the family have been classified as non-seizable goods. The scope of the goods that cannot be seized has been considerably expanded compared to the previous regulation.

•    Excessive seizure has been prohibited.

Pursuant to Art. 85/1 of the EBL, it is prohibited to carry out an excessive seizure in a way that exceeds the amount of the receivable subject to the enforcement proceedings. In case of an excessive seizure, a complaint may be filed in the enforcement court regarding this process.

•    The goods that no longer need to be kept will be liquidated ex officio by the enforcement office.

Pursuant to Article 88/a of the EBL, in event that the seizure remains, the goods in the trustee's custody will be liquidated ex officio by the enforcement office. The enforcement office is firstly obliged to notify the debtor that he may take delivery of the goods if he pays the trustee fee, and that the liquidation procedure will be initiated in case the goods are not received. In case that the debtor does not take delivery of the goods from the trustee upon notice, the person who has the possessory lien over the goods will be invited to exercise his rights arising from the lien, and in the event that this right is not exercised, the goods will be put out for sale by auction. In the event that the goods cannot be liquidated, enforcement court may decide to transfer this property to the Turkish Red Crescent Society without a charge.

Amendments to the Misdemeanor Law No. 5326 

•    Administrative fines can also be sanctioned against public legal entities.

The amendment to Article 43/A of the Misdemeanor Law changed the expression "a private law legal entity" in the first paragraph of the article regulating the liability of legal entities to "a legal entity". Thus, the public-private differentiation was removed and it was regulated that public legal entities may also be subjected to judicial fine sanctions in case that their organs or representatives participate in catalog crimes for the benefit of the legal entity. A similar amendment was made to Article 26 of the Misdemeanor Law.

Amendments to the Law No. 5275 on the Execution of the Sentences and Security Measures

•    Article 16/A of the Law on the Execution of Sentences and Security Measures regulates the sentences of female convicts who are in need of care due to disability, are subject to a severe illness or have children under the age of 18 and are sentenced to imprisonment for 10 years or less. It is now possible to postpone the execution of the sentence for up to 1 year if it is considered that it will not cause a serious and concrete danger to the society, and the postponement can be extended up to four times in 6-month periods, i.e. for a total of 2 years.

Amendments to the Turkish Commercial Code No. 6102

•    Pursuant to Article 4 of the Turkish Commercial Code (hereinafter referred to as the "TCC"), commercial cases whose amount and value do not exceed 1 Million Turkish Liras are subject to simple trial procedure. Besides, pursuant to the Law No. 5235 on the Establishment, Duties and Authorities of the First Instance Courts and Regional Courts of Appeal, the monetary limit was increased from five hundred thousand Turkish Liras to one million Turkish Liras for disputes that can be measured in money, which would be heard by a single judge in the commercial courts of first instance. It is regulated that the stated monetary limit will be increased by the revaluation rate every year.

•    Applying to a mediator is regulated as a condition of litigation in cancellation of objection, negative assessment and reclamation cases pursuant to Article 5/A of the TCC.  The amendment will enter into force on September 1, 2023.

The Amendments to the Law No. 6325 on Mediation

•    With the Article 17/B of the Mediation Law, disputes regarding the transfer of immovable property or the establishment of limited real rights on immovable property are now eligible for mediation.  This amendment will enter into force on September 1, 2023.

•    Pursuant to Article 18/4 of the Mediation Law, the mediation agreement document signed by the parties' lawyers and the mediator will be deemed as a document in the nature of a legal judgment without the requirement of a certificate of enforceability, except in cases where it is mandatory to obtain a certificate of enforceability in commercial disputes.

•    Pursuant to Article 18/A/7 of the Mediation Law, the mediator is obliged to inform the original party regarding the mediation process, even if they have an appointed attorney.

•    As of September 1, 2023, pursuant to Article 18/B of the Mediation Law, the provisions regarding the eviction of leased immovable properties through execution without judgment in accordance with the EBL have been rearranged. It will now be necessary to apply to a mandatory mediator before filing a lawsuit in disputes arising from the lease, the division of movables and immovables and the elimination of the joint ownership and the disputes arising from the neighboring right regulated in the Condominium Law No. 634 and the Turkish Civil Law No. 4721.

Amendments to the Attorneyship Law No. 1136 

•    Pursuant to Article 43 of the Attorneyship Law, financial support will be provided on appropriate terms to cover the expenses to be made by attorneys for the purpose of establishing a law office.

•     Pursuant to the amendment to Article 65 of the Attorneyship Law, no bar association fees will be charged for the first 5 years of their legal practice.

Amendments to Law No. 7036 on Labor Courts

•    Mandatory mediation has been regulated as a condition for litigation in lawsuits for employee or employer receivables and compensation based on the law, individual or collective labor agreement, as well as cancellation of objection, negative declaratory action and restitution lawsuits filed for reemployment. The amendment will enter into force on September 1, 2023.

Please see the full text of the Law here for the amendments mentioned in our article.