Two of the three vacant positions on the Turkish Competition Board ("Board"), the competent decision-making organ of the Turkish Competition Authority ("Authority"), which have been vacant due to the expiration of the terms of office of three members as of June 24th, 2019, have now been filled.
The relevant Presidential Decree, numbered 2019/368, regarding the appointment of the new members of the Board was published in the Official Gazette, dated November 2nd, 2019 and numbered 30936. The inauguration date of the newly appointed members of the Board was not spelled out within the Presidential Decree. As per Article 26 of the Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition ("Law No. 4054"), the chairman and members of the Board could assume their positions only after taking an oath of office before the Supreme Court of Appeals following their appointment. In terms of timing, the application for the oath of office is deemed and treated as an urgent matter by the Supreme Court of Appeals, and this formal step could be expected to be realized in a relatively expeditious manner.
The vacancies at the Board did not disrupt the ongoing processes before the Authority, with the exception of the postponement of the scheduled oral hearing meetings. To that end, the Board has continued to render its decisions in terms of various merger control filings during this period. Nevertheless, this exceptional situation, which has occurred for the second time in the 22-year history of the Authority, has drawn considerable attention at an international level, and these appointments were long awaited in terms of the final decisions to be rendered by the Board within the scope of the contentious matters, such as the ongoing investigations. Although the Board might have some backlog on its agenda, with the inauguration of the newly appointed members, it will now be in a position to proceed with and resolve contentious matters that were pending on its agenda due to its lack of quorum during this vacancy period, as the lack of quorum will no longer be a limiting factor for the functioning of the Board.
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