Turkey: "Arraignment" In New Civil Procedure Law

Last Updated: 6 August 2013
Article by Gürhan Aydın

The new Civil Procedure Law (the "CPL") has been in force in Turkey since 1 September 2011, replacing the previous Civil Procedure Law No. 1086 ("Law No. 1086"). The CPL deals (as did Law No. 1086) with all procedural issues in civil litigation (such as jurisdiction of Turkish courts, competence, filing lawsuits, witness testimony, submission of evidence, appeals, etc.). One of the procedural actions, an "arraignment", is regulated under Articles 169 – 175 of the CPL.1

Under Article 169 of the CPL:

"The court may decide ex-officio or upon the request of the parties for the arraignment of each of the parties.

The arraignment will be related to the facts that constitute the base of the lawsuit or other issues that relate to these facts."

As can be seen from the above mentioned article, the CPL does not define arraignment and only regulates its procedure.

In scholarly opinion, an arraignment is defined as the interrogation of the parties to a lawsuit by the judge, regarding the facts of a dispute. As the main purpose of an arraignment is to obtain the interrogated party's acknowledgment of facts that a judge is trying to clarify, the facts, which the judge seeks to clarify, will be to the interrogated party's disadvantage. The Court of Appeals defines arraignment as follows:

"An arraignment is a procedural action in a lawsuit, which the judge may call upon ex officio or upon the request of one of the parties, for the purpose of clarifying specific issues in connection with the lawsuit and for the purpose of obtaining the acknowledgment of a party on the facts being to that party's disadvantage."2

In this regard, "arraignment" is a technical term used for the interrogation of the parties, in compliance with the procedure set forth under the CPL.

Procedure of and Preparation for Arraignment

Under Article 173 of the CPL, the person who will be interrogated during an arraignment must be a party that the court decides is necessary to interrogate. Accordingly, the lawyer of a party cannot be subject to an arraignment. If the party that the court decided to interrogate is a legal entity, under Article 170 of the CPL, the legal entity must be represented by its legal representative during the arraignment.

The court must serve the person it decides to interrogate, with an official invitation containing the following:

  • date and time of the arraignment hearing;
  • facts that are the subject of the arraignment; and
  • a warning stating that the party to be interrogated will be deemed to have acknowledged the facts if that party is not present at the hearing without any valid excuse or if he does not answer the questions asked by the judge.

At the end of the arraignment hearing, the court prepares minutes of the arraignment and in these minutes, the interrogated party's explanations, questions asked and answers given are recorded and the minutes are signed by the interrogated party.

It is worth emphasizing that, although not clearly stipulated in the arraignment related provisions of the CPL, the lawyers of both parties can also ask the interrogated party questions. This is the result of Article 1523 of the CPL, which (differently from the abolished Law No. 1086) states that:

"The lawyers present in the hearing can directly ask questions to witnesses, the expert witnesses and other persons invited to the hearing, within the limits of hearing discipline."

The parties' lawyers' right to ask questions is also encouraged by the preamble of this article:

"In a trial, both the parties and their lawyers have the right to ask questions."

In light of the above, it is clear that there are no obstacles for the lawyers to ask direct questions to the person interrogated. However, lawyers cannot answer the questions asked to the person interrogated or help him/her by any means during the arraignment.

Arraignment as "Evidence"

It is debatable whether or not a party's acknowledgement obtained during an arraignment can be considered as definite evidence. The General Assembly of the Civil Chambers of the Court of Appeals held in its decision dated 18 November 2009 that:

"As the parties are deemed to be the most suspicious witnesses in their own lawsuit, an arraignment is not accepted in itself as evidence by scholars and in the Court of Appeals' practice. However, evidence may be obtained with arraignment and the arraignment may help to enlighten the lawsuit in some cases".4

In another decision of the Court of Appeals dated 10 February 2004, it was held that:

"The party relying on the purchase agreement as the legal transaction cannot prove the existence of that purchase agreement through an arraignment."5

The 3rd Civil Chambers of the Court of Appeals has also held that an arraignment cannot be accepted as evidence:

"The subject of an arraignment is specific facts related to the lawsuit. Arraignment is possible particularly in the event of ambiguous and indefinite situations that need to be enlightened. This enables the defense of the plaintiff and the defendant to be clarified. This should be the purpose of the arraignment. For this reason, an arraignment cannot be accepted in itself as evidence. Unless otherwise stipulated in the law, each of the parties is obliged to prove its claims. In this regard, as a rule, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. The plaintiff is obliged to prove the facts on which it bases its claims. When the plaintiff proves its claims, then the defendant has the burden to prove the facts on which it bases its defenses. At this stage of the trial, an arraignment should be used to enlighten the facts that need to be enlightened and one should be careful not to use arraignment in a manner harming and removing the above mentioned rules of burden of proof."6

Accordingly, it would be appropriate to say that arraignment cannot be accepted as evidence, but as a tool for the judge to clarify the facts in dispute.

Differences between Parties' Hearing and Arraignment

Under Article 144 of the CPL, the judge may decide to hear the parties' verbal statements in relation to the facts giving rise to the dispute. However, a "parties' hearing" must not be confused with arraignment. The main purpose of an arraignment is to obtain an acknowledgment regarding the disputed facts, whereas, the main purpose of a parties' hearing is to hear the parties' explanations regarding unclear issues for clarification. Basically, the purpose of a parties' hearing is to enlighten the case and to resolve the contradictions in the facts of a case.

Another significant difference between an arraignment and a parties' hearing is that, if the party is not present before the judge without any excuse when called by the judge, that party will be deemed to have accepted and acknowledged the facts forming the subject matter of the arraignment, whereas, in a parties' hearing, that party will only lose its right to object to the procedural actions of the relevant hearing.


Although arraignments are not very common in practice, they are used when the facts of the dispute need to be clarified. Judges must be prudent in utilizing the arraignment process and must not regard arraignment as definite evidence. Judges must not render a decision solely relying on the parties' statements obtained during an arraignment. The rules of burden of proof are clear. If these rules are violated by accepting arraignment as definite evidence, the Court of Appeals frequently overrules the court of first instance's decision, if based solely on the statements obtained during an arraignment.


1 Arraignments were regulated under Articles 230 – 235 of Law No. 1086

2 Decision of the 6th Civil Chamber of the Court of Appeals, dated 21 May 2012 and numbered 2012/4304 E., 2012/7562 K.

3 Law No. 1086 did not contain a similar article, permitting lawyers to ask questions to the witnesses, expert witnesses and other persons invited to the hearing.

4 Decision of the General Assembly of Civil Chambers of the Court of Appeals, dated 18 November 2009 and numbered 2009/6-477 E., 2009/546 K.

5 Decision of the 13th Civil Chamber of the Court of Appeals, dated 10 February 2004 and numbered 2003/11403 E., 2004/1235 K.

6 Decision of the 3rd Civil Chamber of the Court of Appeals, dated 4 April 2012 and numbered 2012/5220 E., 2012/9054 K.

© Kolcuoğlu Demirkan Attorneys at Law, 2013

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Gürhan Aydın
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.