Turkey: Liability Of Air Carrier For Aviation Accidents

In virtue of technology development and progress in international economic and also political relations, the air transportation has become a preferable transportation type in the world. Despite of technical developments in aviation and high security of aircraft, aviation accidents, thereby the liability of air carriers have become unavoidable. This article is intended to provide a general information regarding air carrier liabilities for death or bodily injury arising from aviation accidents in domestic and international flights.

Liability of Air Carrier in Domestic Flights

Civil Liability

The article 106 of Turkish Civil Aviation Act (TCAA) is taken as basis regarding the national air transportations. Accordingly, the TCAA is applied for domestic flights. In cases which are not enacted by TCAA, the Warsaw Convention of 1929 and Hague Protocol of 1955 ("Warsaw/Hague Convention") will be applicable. If a case is not regulated in Warsaw/Hague Convention neither, the obligations and trade law principles will come in question.

According to the art. 120 of TCAA, the air carrier is liable for damages arising from death or bodily injuries in case of aviation accidents occurred in aircraft or during boarding or alighting. Depending on the fault of air carrier, this liability may be limited or unlimited. The cases in which the air carrier may not be held liable have been stated in the TCAA. Accordingly, the liability of air carrier is principally limited. Due to coming of Montreal Protocols in force in Turkey in 1991, the liability of air carrier is limited to 16.600 Special Drawing Rights. However, air carrier may increase its liability limit through agreements according to the art. 124 of TCAA.

The liability of air carrier will not be limited,

  • if no flight ticket is issued or if the flight ticket is not issued as required,
  • if the damage is caused by intentional or recklessly/negligent acts of air carrier or its employees.

However, it is possible for air carrier to benefit from the possibility of exculpation through proving that all the necessary measures have been taken or that there was no possibility to take such measures.

Criminal Liability

In aviation accidents with decease and injury, Criminal Code provisions come in question. Accordingly, in case of death, the responsible individuals shall be prosecuted ex officio due to negligent manslaughter. By virtue of the fact that the airlines are legal entities, their legal representatives such as board members or directors shall be prusecuted and sentenced.

In case of bodily injury, the responsible individuals shall be prosecuted upon complaint of the injured parties. If conscious neglicence is present in a case, the prosecution of responsible individuals will be ex officio.

Action for Damages: Which rights and claims do claimant(s) have against air carrier(s)?

In case of death of a passenger in an aviation accident, his/her family or relatives may file a suit for damages against the air carrier and its employees. If a bodily injury arise from an aviation accident, only the injured party (passenger) has the right to demand the compensation of material and immaterial damages.

In such a case the relatives, family of the decedents or the injured passenger(s) shall prove the presence of an aviation accident and the causation between damages and accident. According to the related laws, an aviation accident should occur in the aircraft, during boarding or alighting.

When shall injured parties file a suit for damages?

The right of institute legal proceedings against the air carrier prescribe within two years as from the date of landing of the aircraft or as from the date in which the aircraft should land. (art. 131 TCAA; art. 29 Warsaw/Hague Convention).

What may these persons demand from the air carrier?

In case of decease and bodily injury of passenger due to aviation accident in a domestic flight, the Turkish Code of Obligations ("TCO") will be applied.

The family or relatives of the decedents may demand

  • the treatment and funeral expenses, damages from labour loss (if existent), loss of support as compensation of material damages (art. 53 TCO)
  • compensation of immaterial damages due to the burden and sorrow about the decease of the passenger (art. 56 TCO)

The injured passenger may demand

  • compensation of his/her material damages such as treatment expenses, labour loss (art. 54 TCO)
  • compensation of immaterial damages (art. 56 TCO)

Liability of Air Carrier in International Flights Starting or Ending in Turkey

In regard to liability of air carriers in international flights which start or end in Turkey the Montreal Convention of 1999 comes in question. This convention came in Turkey in 26.03.2011 in force. To the flights occur after 2011 clauses of this convention will be applicable.

In case of decease or bodily injury of passenger(s) in an aviation accident, the liability of air carrier is limited to 100.000 Special Drawing Rights according to the Montreal Convention. The air carrier is liable for all material damages caused by aviation accident. However, this convention does not provide the right to the injured persons or to the family or relatives of deceased passenger(s) to claim only for immaterial damages which don't result from material damages. (Art. 29 Montreal Convention) Accordingly, only the immaterial damages arising from material damages may be claimed from air carrier. The scope of damages arising from aviation accidents in international flights differs from damages arising from aviation accidents in domestic flights in this regard. Nevertheless, cases in which the passenger does not have material damages or that no aviation accident according to the TCAA or conventions exists and only immaterial damages were caused, claim for such immaterial damages shall be possible for injured persons.

The liability of air carrier has been regulated by international conventions and thereby the rights of injured parties are guaranteed by these laws. Since Turkey is a party to international conventions such as Montreal Convention, Warsaw Convention and Hague Protocol, Turkish Laws concerning aviation are in accordance with international conventions, so that a similarity of rights in national and international laws is provided.

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”

Related Topics
Related Articles
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
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

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 or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq 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 of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions