Turkey: Recent Commercial Arbitration Trends In Turkey

What factors often influence parties in their choice of arbitration over litigation? Could you outline some of the key benefits of the arbitration process for those involved?

Çetinkaya: In Turkey and for Turkish companies choice of arbitration over litigation mainly depends on the sector and the parties to a contract. Construction, for instance, is the sector where arbitration is not an alternative but rather the principal dispute resolution method. Turkish contractors use arbitration as a method to solve their disputes in Turkey and abroad, chiefly because construction is a complex and multi-layered sector within which a large number of goods and service providers have competing interests. It is difficult to avoid conflict, if not disputes, between those layers of the supply chain which might potentially affect the entire process and timelines, regardless of how tiny the problem is. This is perhaps why, unlike other sectors in Turkey, is the necessity for efficient dispute resolution in the construction sector leads players to arbitration. Courts in Turkey therefore receive few construction related disputes other than employment cases.

One might ask whether the situation would be different if there was a specialised construction court in Turkey, and this likely true. I think the reason why the construction industry stopped using courts in Turkey is because commercial courts judges and experts are not sufficiently experienced and knowledgeable. On the other hand, when foreign parties contract with Turkish parties or state enterprises, they tend to opt for institutional arbitration due to concerns about the efficiency and impartiality of Turkish courts.

While not much can be said to defend the efficiency of Turkish courts, their impartiality should not be a concern. Equally, foreigners do not want to take the stand before Turkish courts due to the fact that Turkish is the official language of the courts, with no alternative available. If the proceedings before Turkish courts could also be tried in at least English, as in the case in German courts, a considerable portion of disputes would have been taken to Turkish courts rather than arbitral institutions.

How would you describe arbitration facilities and processes in your region? How do they compare internationally?

Çetinkaya: UNCTIRAL rules are generally accepted and followed by many Turkish Chambers of Commerce. The recently launched Istanbul Arbitration Centre is by and large influenced by the ICC rules. The size and number of arbitration facilities reflects the use of arbitration in Turkey, particularly by local parties. If there is ever a need for arbitration facilities, they can be easily accessed. At the moment, however, arbitration facilities are from the desired level. That said, the Istanbul Arbitration Association will make a difference. Those who engage in arbitration in Turkey typically use meeting rooms at prestigious hotels or prestigious law firms.

Have you seen any recent changes in arbitration rules in your region? If so, when will these be brought into force and how do you expect they will affect the arbitration process?

Çetinkaya: There have been no recent changes in arbitration rules in Turkey.

How supportive are courts in your region in upholding and enforcing arbitral awards? Is the judiciary arbitration friendly?

Çetinkaya: The extent to which Turkish courts are arbitration friendly is almost rhetorical question. Commercial courts in big cities are friendly; however the fact that there is no specialised Chamber at the Court of Appeals blurs things somewhat. The lack of a specialised chamber does hinder the development of law in this respect.

As precedents do not help, Turkish courts are not confident as to how they should interpret public order. For instance, there is no settled approach about how portfolio compensation will be construed. While it is one of the mandatory rules of the Turkish Commercial Code, it is not among the rules directly applicable to Turkish Law. Even though there is no clear consensus on that front, uncertainty in this area is manipulated by parties who wish to slow arbitral proceedings or set aside arbitral awards on a public order basis.

What practical issues need to be dealt with when undertaking complex international, multijurisdictional arbitrations in your region?

Çetinkaya: Before any arbitration, parties should be warned about the rules that any likely arbitration will be subject to. This way, parties are aware from the outset of the standards for evidence discovery and disclosure. An equally important fact is to prepare witnesses for cross-examination in arbitration, which is not a concept parties are familiar with in this region.

The selection of arbitrators is quite significant in that it should be made from experienced arbitrators who are not only familiar with the procedural and substantive rules of arbitration, but are also knowledgeable about the specific industry, as well as the parties' jurisdictional background.

Do you believe more companies should include arbitration provisions in their contract clauses at the outset of the commercial venture? What are some of the key considerations?

Çetinkaya: Whether or not to include arbitration clauses depends on the parties, the risks at stake, the industry and where the award will be enforced. Therefore, I do not think that opting for arbitration would suit the needs of the majority of parties. Having said that, our preference is to use institutional arbitration to avoid the uncertainties of ad hoc arbitration. If the parties agree on the arbitral institution to be used, we recommend them using arbitration clauses suggested by the arbitral institution which will take that view should a dispute arise. The way in which arbitral institutions reflect their fees is also another point regarding which parties should be enlightened.

Certain jurisdictions have made concerted efforts to improve their profile as a seat of arbitration in recent years. Do you expect the choice of viable arbitration venues to increase going forward?

Çetinkaya: I expect that certain cities will increase their profile as a seat of arbitration. The availability of experienced arbitrators and experts will make cities such as London, Paris and Geneva stand out. Facilities also play an undeniable role in choosing the venue but arbitration culture, trusted arbitral institutions with strong historical backgrounds, as well as arbitration groups and associations massively help cities become hubs for arbitration.

Regionally speaking, Istanbul has huge potential. Parties, experts and witnesses with visa problems already choose Istanbul as a venue. The number of projects in and around Turkey also increases the chances that Istanbul will be chosen as the venue. But the geographical advantages of Istanbul will be limited unless it houses experienced arbitrators, experts, facilities and institutions.

Interview first published in Financier Worldwide Magazine's Annual Review of Commercial Arbitration, April 2016.

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
Erdem & Erdem Law
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
Erdem & Erdem Law
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