Turkey: Statute Of Limitations And Amendment Of Claim

Last Updated: 13 September 2013
Article by Dilek Sule Mentes and Efe Kınıkoğlu


As one of the essential rules of law, a statute of limitations1 commences once a receivable becomes due (Article 149 of the Code of Obligations) and is interrupted by:

  • filing of an action or objection before a court or an arbitration tribunal;
  • initiation of execution proceedings; or
  • an application to the bankruptcy administration (Article 154 of the Code of Obligations).

When a lawsuit is filed for a part of the receivable, the statute of limitations will be interrupted only with respect to such portion of the receivable and will continue to run for the remainder of the receivable (ie, that part which is not covered by the lawsuit).

Therefore, a plaintiff wishing to amend a claim at a later stage of a lawsuit (Article 176 of the Code of Civil Procedure) is entitled to amend the claim totally (Article 180) or partially (Article 181) only once. However, the plaintiff must do this within the statute of limitations. Thus, where a plaintiff fails to amend its claim within the statute of limitations, the defendant will be entitled to object to such amendment.

However, after a recent decision of the Fourth Chamber of the Court of Appeals, the established practice of the Turkish courts might be likely to change.

Recent case

The Fourth Chamber of the Court of Appeals recently reversed a first instance decision, which was based on the established practice of a statute of limitations objection against an amendment of a claim made after the expiry of the statute of limitations.

This recent reversal is contrary to the established Court of Appeals practice, under which amendments of claims can be filed only within the applicable statute of limitations, even where a plaintiff has reserved its rights at the commencement of the lawsuit.

The Fourth Chamber of the Court of Appeals ruled that the plaintiffs were entitled to amend their claim regardless of the expiry of the statute of limitations, based on the ground that the statute of limitations objection can be raised only against a separate and new lawsuit to be filed with respect to the same claim, but not against the amendment of a claim (this was interpreted by the court as only an amendment in the statement of claim of the plaintiff).

Therefore, the appellate court rejected the first instance decision on the ground that a plaintiff may amend his claim during the lawsuit which shall not be rejected despite the fact that such amendment was not made within the statute of limitations.


The lawsuit was filed for material and moral indemnities by individuals against the Prime Ministry Undersecretariat of Customs, due to the alleged illegal seizure of a vehicle owned by the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs claimed that the decision of the undersecretariat to seize their vehicle was

wrongful and that they incurred damages due to not being able to operate the vehicle. The plaintiffs claimed only TRY10,000, in order to reduce the court fees and expenses, but their material damages allegedly consisted of:

  • loss of profit of TRY239,588.38;
  • damages of TRY2,469.00 on the vehicle;
  • diesel oil for an amount of TRY28,800; and
  • moral damages of TRY20,000.

This corresponded to a total of TRY290,557.38.

On receiving the expert report in their favour, the plaintiffs submitted a petition for amendment of their claim and increased their claim to TRY284,408.98. However, this petition was submitted after the one-year statute of limitations for torts had expired, pursuant to Article 60 of the old Code of Obligations (818).

First instance decision

The first instance court ruled that the plaintiffs were not entitled to amend and increase their claim, due to the fact that the one-year statute of limitations had expired, starting from the commencement of the lawsuit. Thus, the court ruled in favour of the plaintiffs, but limited the claim to the initial amount.

Appellate decision

The Fourth Chamber of the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the first instance court on the ground that the plaintiffs were entitled to amend their claim during the lawsuit, since it was only a correction of the claimed amount within the same case and not a new case. The court further stated that a statute of limitations objection can be raised only where a plaintiff files a separate, new lawsuit, despite the expiry of the statute of limitations.

However, the chief judge of the Fourth Chamber of the Court of Appeals submitted her dissenting opinion, in which she entirely disagreed with the above-mentioned reversal decision of her chamber. In her dissenting opinion, which was in line with the established practice and doctrine, it was clearly stated that a plaintiff is entitled to amend his or her claim during a pending lawsuit only within the statute of limitations and not after its expiry, even if the plaintiff reserves his or her rights at the commencement of the lawsuit. This is based on the rule that initiation of a lawsuit interrupts the statute of limitations only limited to the amount claimed in such lawsuit, and not with respect to the amount reserved but not claimed at that time.


Arguably, a respondent should be entitled to raise a statute of limitations objection against an amendment of claim by a plaintiff that has not been filed within the applicable statute of limitations. This would best serve the purpose of the statute of limitations institution and prevent unintended and abusive use of the right to amend a claim during a pending lawsuit. Such right should be remain an exceptional procedural right to be exercised in due time according to certain rules.

In the light of the foregoing, opening a door to amending claims without any statute of limitations may lead to crucial consequences in either pending or future litigation procedures.

Originally published by International Law Office.


(1) Every receivable is subject to a 10-year statute of limitations as a rule, unless the contrary is regulated by law. A number of specific types of receivable have a statute of limitations of five years (Article 147 of the Code of Obligations). The statute of limitations for torts is two years from the time the plaintiff becomes aware of the damage or, in any case, 10 years from the date of the tort (Article 72 of the Code of Obligations). This update focuses not on the specific terms of statute of limitations, but rather on the applicability of a statute of limitations objection against amendment of a claim by the plaintiff.

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.

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.