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Turkey’s first and only law specifically dedicated to data protection and privacy, the Law No. 6698 on Protection of Personal Data (“Law No. 6698”), came into force on April 7, 2016 with certain transition periods. The Data Protection Board has been formed, but is not yet functioning. The secondary legislation is still pending, although certain sector-specific regulations have been put in place, and is expected to be completed by April 7, 2017.

Many years in the making, the Istanbul Arbitration Centre (“ISTAC” or the “Centre”) was finally established in 2015 and began picking up steam in 2016. The first plans to form an arbitration Centre in Istanbul were laid out by the Turkish government in 2009 as part of the country’s action plan and broader strategy to make Istanbul a bigger financial hub.

Paksoy has advised Coventya — a Fund II portfolio company of European private equity firm Silverfleet Capital — on its acquisition of an 80.6% interest in Borsa Istanbul-listed Politeknik Metal Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S from private individuals Atila Yaman, Mesut Akkaya, Nilgun Yaman, Melisa Bahar Akkaya, and Filiz Akkaya. The Ismen Law Firm advised the sellers. Coventya has announced that it will also launch a mandatory tender offer for the remaining 19.4% of the company’s shares in compliance with the principles and procedure of the Capital Markets Board of Turkey.

Cakmak Avukatlik Ortakligi — the firm in Ankara formerly doing business as the Cakmak Avukatlik Burosu and, until last year, formally associated with White & Case — has announced a number of substantial changes, including its name change, the promotion of two lawyers to the firm's partnership, the return of a Partner after several years away, and the addition of a new US-qualified lawyer to the team.

The most significant agreement prepared to create a uniform universal sales law is United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, also referred to as Vienna Convention (“CISG”), dated 11 April 1980. CISG has entered into force on 1 January 19881, has been accepted without any reservation and has become applicable in Turkey as of 1 August 20112. In brief, CISG comprises of provisions regarding the establishment, performance and expiration of agreements relating to the international sale of moveable goods.

The Turkish collateralization system was recently updated through the introduction of the Law No. 6750 on Movable Pledges (the “Movable Pledge Law”).

An alternative dispute resolution method is expected to be introduced in Turkey shortly through the Draft Law on Labor Courts (“Draft Law”). The purpose of the Draft Law is to bring a functional and an effective judicial procedure for labor conflicts via mandatory mediation and to replace the current regulations. 

The Deal:

On August 15, 2016, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Esin Attorney Partnership (a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International), Hogan Lovells, and Paksoy had advised on Burgan Bank’s USD 87 million and EUR 57 million syndicated multi-tranche term loan agreement with 13 banks from 8 countries. The banks were led by HSBC, acting as coordinator, Arab Banking Corporation (B.S.C.), acting as agent, and Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft, Filiale Luxemburg, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, and Mashreqbank PSC acting as initial mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners.

The “Law on Movable Pledge for Commercial Transactions” (“Law”) numbered 6750 was published in the Official Gazette dated 28 October 2016 and numbered 29871 and will be in effect as of 01 January 2017.

On January 11, 2017, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (the “Central Bank“) has reduced banks’ foreign exchange liabilities related reserve requirements by 50 basis points to provide extra liquidity to the market. The changes take effect starting from December 30, 2016.

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