Enforceability of a foreign award in Turkey requires a
recognition lawsuit to be filed before the Turkish courts. The Code
on International Private and Procedure Law (number 5718) (the
"Law") explicitly regulates the terms and conditions in
During a recognition lawsuit, Turkish courts cannot go into the
merits of the dispute; they can only scrutinize whether the
statutory pre-conditions described below have been fulfilled during
the enforcement proceedings abroad.
Enforcement procedures of foreign judgments in Turkey
In order to recognize a foreign award in Turkey,
Said court award must be final and
binding as per the legislation in the country where they are
adopted. Accordingly, the following are required:
An official document from the
authorities of the foreign state officially confirming2
the court award as definitive, as well as a certified translation
the original copy of the court award
duly upheld by the authorities of the foreign state or a copy of
the award certified by that organ of jurisdiction, and a certified
are required to be submitted to the Court.
Existence of an agreement, between
Turkey and the country where the award was granted, adopted on a
reciprocal basis, or a provision which allows recognition of a
Turkish award in that jurisdiction or a de facto practice is
The foreign award must have been
adopted by a competent court on matters not within the exclusive
jurisdiction of the Turkish courts (such as the matters regarding
the disposal rights of real property).The foreign award should not
be explicitly contrary to public order. Under the Law, there is no
specific definition of public order; however the fundamental rights
and liberties specified under the Turkish Constititution and the
right to a fair trial are all deemed as circumstances to be
considered as public order under court precedents.
During the court process in the
foreign jurisdiction, the rights of defence rules must have been
followed: The person against whom the enforcement is sought must
have been duly summoned to the court and properly represented, and
no decision should have been made in the person's absence, in
contravention to the laws of that jurisdiction.
In principle, foreign plaintiffs
filing lawsuits before Turkish courts should deposit a security,
the amount of which is at the discretion of the court, in order to
secure the trial costs and the damages that may be incurred by the
defendant. However bilateral and multilateral conventions should be
assessed for exemptions on a case-by-case basis.
In practice, recognition lawsuits are likely to last for a
period between a year and a half to two years. Turkish courts may
adopt a decision partially or fully or dismiss the request for
enforcement. Once the recognition award has been adopted, the
foreign award is treated as if it were a court award from Turkish
1. Recognition of arbitration awards are not within the
scope of this briefing. Other international treaty rules apply to
2. Apostillization of the original documents is required
as per the Hague Agreement, to which Turkey is a party.
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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