Turkey, being party to the New York Convention of 1958 and
having bilateral agreements or reciprocity with many countries, is
a relatively convenient jurisdiction to enforce foreign arbitration
awards or court judgments. However, the amount of the court charges
that need to be paid to the Turkish court dealing with the
enforcement of the foreign arbitration award or court judgment has
always been a major deterrent for claimants.
The problem stems from the Tariff on Court Fees, which requires
applicants to pay 6.83 % of the total claim amount as court fees. A
quarter of this fee is payable in advance at the time of
commencement of the proceedings whereas the remaining ¾
would be charged to the Defendant subject to successful conclusion
of the proceedings.
It has been argued by many Turkish law firms that proceedings
for enforcement of foreign awards or judgments are not substantive
proceedings; as such, they should not be subject to the above
tariff; instead, court fees at the minimal standard level (i.e.
several hundred US Dollars) should be applied.
Whereas some courts accepted this argument, others insisted on
charging significant fees in the absence of any clear provision in
the Turkish Tariff on Court Fees with respect to enforcement
As from 2010, the Court of Appeal, the highest tier civil court
in Turkey, has been rendering judgments holding that enforcement
proceedings are not substantive proceedings and as such they should
not be subject to the above Tariff.
What is needed is amendment to the Tariff so as to reflect this
stance of the Court of Appeal. Until then it is not safe to say
that the problem has been effectively and finally dealt with. What
can be said though in that compared to a few years ago the chances
that a claimant will now be asked to deposit substantial court fees
in order to enforce a foreign award or judgment are significantly
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.
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