Turkey: Q&A On The Enforcement Of Foreign Judgments/Awards In Turkey

Last Updated: 16 October 2015
Article by M. Raci Alper

In order for a foreign judgment or an arbitral award to be enforced in Turkey, certain enforcement procedures must be executed. Even though the procedure itself seems to be straight forward, applicants need to overcome some hurdles before gaining enforceability. In this article, the ins-and-outs of the enforcement procedure will be explained in the form of answers to frequently asked questions.

Q: Can a judgment/award rendered in a foreign forum be automatically enforced in Turkey?

A: It is not possible for either foreign judgments or arbitral awards rendered in foreign jurisdictions to be automatically enforced and executed in Turkey. To achieve this, the applicant must go through an enforcement procedure in the form of a court action as described in art. 50-63 of the Code of International Private and Procedural Law no. 5718. It must be stated though that the procedures stipulated for the enforcement of foreign judgments and awards are different.

Q: How does the procedure for the enforcement of foreign judgments work?

A: Although Turkey is not currently a member of the European Union, the legislation that regulates the enforcement of foreign judgments has been amended as such. In this regard The Code of International Private and Procedural Law no. 5718 entered into force on 12 December 2007 with the intention to form a legal system which is more compliant with the international agreements to which Turkey is a party and with the recent amendments on national legislation.

Foreign judgments which have become final after all appeals (if any) may be executed in Turkey through enforcement proceedings.

A number of minimum documents need to be produced in order to initiate enforcement proceedings, such as:

  • The original of the foreign judgment, and
  • written confirmation that the judgment is final.

According to the Code of International Private and Procedural Law, a foreign court judgment may be enforced in Turkey if;

  • there is an effective treaty between the country of the foreign court concerned and Turkey providing for the reciprocal enforcement of judgements; or
  • there is a de facto reciprocity, in other words the courts of the relevant foreign country enforces the judgments rendered by the Turkish Courts; or
  • there is a provision in the law of such country which provides for the enforcement of judgements of the courts of Turkey.

A foreign judgment may be enforced in Turkey if the judgment rendered by the foreign court is not subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of Turkish Courts or on condition that the defendant objects, if the same is not rendered by a court which deems itself competent even though the same does not have any real relation or link with the subject matter of the case or with the parties.

Furthermore, under the Code of International Private and Procedure Law, Turkish Courts will only enforce a judgement of a foreign court if the judgement is clearly not against Turkish public order and where the person against whom enforcement is sought does not raise objections in the courts of Turkey to the effect that he was not duly summoned to or represented at the foreign court or that the judgement was rendered in his absence in violation of the laws of the foreign country. The court in Turkey would disregard any such objection that it determines to be without sufficient foundation.

Q: How is the procedure different in the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards?

A: In 1992, Turkey has become party to the New York Convention of 1958 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. Accordingly, the Code on International Private and Procedural Law was enacted and the latest revision came into force on 12.12.2007, governing the process for the recognition and enforcement of foreign court decisions and arbitral awards in Turkey. Foreign arbitral awards which have become final after all appeals (if any) may be executed in Turkey through enforcement proceedings.

The following minimum documents shall be required to be produced when enforcement proceedings are issued:

  • The original or notarized copy of the arbitration agreement
  • The original or notarized copy of the signed award. If the award is not appealed then written confirmation from the arbitrator/arbitral tribunal that the award is final or that it has not been appealed, if the award is appealed, the finalized version of the arbitration award.

These proceedings are purely "procedural"; meaning that the court does not delve into the merits of the award itself. The Code No.5718 sets out the specific procedural grounds on which an enforcement action may be rejected by the Turkish courts, which are:

  1. If there is no arbitration agreement or an arbitration clause in the agreement,
  2. If the arbitration clause is in violation of the public order and morality,
  3. If Turkish Laws do not allow for the dispute subject to arbitration award to be resolved by arbitration,
  4. If the parties have not been duly represented before the arbitration panel and have not subsequently explicitly accepted the transactions that have taken place,
  5. If the party against whom the award is being enforced, did not receive proper service of notices of appointment or was deprived of the opportunity to issue claims or counter claims, using their right to a fair trial. This is the most common defence raised in enforcement proceedings by Turkish respondents,
  6. If the arbitration clause or agreement is in violation of the law of the place agreed by the parties; otherwise, lacking such agreement, if the clause is invalid according to the laws of the country where the arbitration award has been given,
  7. If the appointment of the arbitrators or the application of the procedure by the arbitrators is in violation of the agreement between parties, or the law of the country where the arbitration award has been given,
  8. If the arbitration award does not relate to the matters included in the arbitration agreement or clause or if the content of the award is exceeding the limits of the agreement or the clause,
  9. If the arbitration award is not finalized pursuant to the provisions of the law of the place where the award is given or the law to which it is subject; or the award is not enforceable or it is not binding or it has been annulled by the relevant authority

Q: What are the costs involved in the enforcement proceedings?

A: Under Turkish Law, when bringing an action before a Turkish Court, the Applicant shall deposit the relevant court fees corresponding to 6.831% (for the year 2015) of the claim amount on a pro rata basis. A quarter of these fees is payable in advance whereas the remaining ¾ will be payable when collecting the first instance court's judgment, if the Court rules in favour of the plaintiff.

It must be pointed out that in practice, due to a problem in the National Judiciary Network System, cashiers' offices collect the court fee on the fixed basis instead of the pro rata basis described above. This error is dealt with after the filing of the action, when the court issues an order for the deposition of the difference between the pro rata fee and the fixed fee. Although this mishap does not cause any loss of rights for the applicant, it still makes the process of commencing an enforcement action complicated by adding an unnecessary extra step. On the other hand, in recent judgments the Court of Appeal has ruled that fees for commencing enforcement actions shall be calculated on the fixed fee basis but a unified front has not been established between the chambers of the Court of Appeal in this regard.

Furthermore, a foreign plaintiff may be required by the enforcing court to deposit security for costs at the beginning of the proceedings unless there is a bilateral or multi-national agreement waiving such security requirement. Turkey is party to several treaties that dispense with the need for security.

Q: What measures should be taken in the foreign court or arbitral proceedings in order to avoid potential defences?

A: In practice, the main hurdle that the applicants are faced is to prove that the opposing party has been duly notified of the court/arbitral proceedings. This is an issue prevalent in the international commercial arbitration community where opponents refuse to be served and deny notification in an effort to delay arbitral proceedings and avoid subsequent enforcement of awards. As stated above, the opposing party must be duly notified of the proceedings and of the judgment/award issued. Complications arise when it becomes necessary to prove that the opposing party has received service and was aware of the proceedings.

To avoid such complications, it is recommended firstly to make sure that the address of the opposing party is up-to-date at the time of service. When a company is concerned, their registered office address can be obtained from the Trade Registry Gazette.

Further problems related to service may arise in the enforcement of arbitral awards since in most arbitrations, service is affected by e-mail for the purpose of time and cost efficiency. This problem can be avoided by affecting service through post/cargo/courier where obtaining confirmation of service is possible or by way of service through a Turkish notary public, the latter of which would be the safest way since a confirmation of service would be provided and also kept at the notary's chambers. Nonetheless, when the charm of e-mail communication and the fact that it is pretty much indispensable in this age is considered; if nothing, requesting read receipts may prove to be very beneficial in proving due service later in the enforcement action.

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.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Oncel, Aydın, Duman & Uygun Attorney Partnership
Oncel, Aydın, Duman & Uygun Attorney Partnership
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
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Oncel, Aydın, Duman & Uygun Attorney Partnership
Oncel, Aydın, Duman & Uygun Attorney Partnership
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