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After Turkey’s recent change to executive presidency, the President has made some changes in the government system. Accordingly, instead of the previous two ministries that have been the Ministry of Customs and Trade and the Ministry of Economy, there will be only one Ministry of Trade. As a result, through the Presidential Decree on Presidential Organization No. 1 published on 10.07.2018, the Ministry of Trade (the “Ministry”) now has the authority to initiate dumping or subsidy examinations, upon complaint or, where necessary, ex officio. Although the General Directorate of Imports is now affiliated with the Ministry of Trade, the recent changes remain at a ministerial level and the Board of Evaluation of Unfair Competition in Imports (within the General Directorate of Imports) is yet responsible for resolving matters with respect to actions and measures to be taken with the aim of protecting an industry against damage caused by dumped and/or subsidized imports in case of unfair competition. During the third quarter of 2018, the Ministry has initiated a number of anti-circumvention investigations and announced its decisions upon concluding several of the ongoing expiry review investigations. As in the past, the Ministry has announced its decisions with the communiqués published on the Official Gazette.

After Turkey’s recent change to executive presidency, the President has made some changes in the government system. Accordingly, instead of the previous two ministries that have been the Ministry of Customs and Trade and the Ministry of Economy, there will be only one Ministry of Trade. As a result, through the Presidential Decree on Presidential Organization No. 1 published on 10.07.2018, the Ministry of Trade (the “Ministry”) now has the authority to initiate dumping or subsidy examinations, upon complaint or, where necessary, ex officio. Although the General Directorate of Imports is now affiliated with the Ministry of Trade, the recent changes remain at a ministerial level and the Board of Evaluation of Unfair Competition in Imports (within the General Directorate of Imports) is yet responsible for resolving matters with respect to actions and measures to be taken with the aim of protecting an industry against damage caused by dumped and/or subsidized imports in case of unfair competition. During the third quarter of 2018, the Ministry has initiated a number of anti-circumvention investigations and announced its decisions upon concluding several of the ongoing expiry review investigations. As in the past, the Ministry has announced its decisions with the communiqués published on the Official Gazette.

The Presidential Decree dated September 12, 2018, on the Amendment of Decree No. 32 on the Protection of the Value of the Turkish Lira (“New Decree”), introduced significant restrictions on the use of foreign currencies in certain agreements between Turkish residents. Below, we explain the scope of the New Decree and discuss possible issues and problems that may arise in relation to the implementation of the New Decree. We also assess the potential effects of the Communiqué (2018/32-51) on the Amendment of the Communiqué on Decree No. 32 on the Protection of the Value of the Turkish Lira (2008/32-34) (“Communiqué”), which was published in the Official Gazette on October 6, 2018, and lists the exceptions to the restrictions imposed by the New Decree.

The Capital Markets Board (“CMB”) issued an announcement on September 27, 2018, on its website and addressed the much-disputed status of digital tokens and Initial Coin Offerings (“ICO”). In this announcement, the Capital Markets Board stated that it does not regulate or supervise ICOs, and also noted that it does not regulate or supervise most practices in which blockchain technologies are being used, such as cryptocurrency offerings and token offerings.

A. Introduction: The Competition Board (“Board”) has recently published its reasoned decision in its reassessment of the Turkish Pharmacists Association (Türk Eczacıları Birliği) (“TPA”) case, following the annulment decision rendered by the 13th Chamber of the High State Court (“High State Court”). The High State Court’s ruling was made as a result of the TPA’s appeal against the Board’s earlier decision concerning the TPA’s practices, which examined allegations that the TPA had fixed pharmacies’ purchasing terms and conditions in non-market circumstances. Pursuant to the investigation, the Board found that the TPA had violated Article 4 of the Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition (“Law No. 4054”), and imposed an administrative monetary fine corresponding to 3% of the TPA’s revenues for the 2009 fiscal year. 

A legal entity is defined as “groups of persons organized as entity on its own and independent property groups constructed for special object” under Article 47 of the Turkish Civil Code No. 4721 (“TCC”). Under Turkish laws, legal entity owns its assets; such assets are dedicated to the purposes of the legal entity and legal entity is liable only with such assets. Legal entity is entitled to be part to the legal transactions as an independent person, separately from its founders and is liable for such transactions against third parties.

The European Commission (“Commission”) has released a report on April 17, 2018, which contained important findings of fact and assessments regarding Turkey’s political situation, economic development, regional issues and international obligations. This document summarizes and evaluates the conclusions put forth by the Commission in its report (“Report”) with respect to intellectual property law in Turkey and its suggestions for the coming years.

In Turkey, the authority to initiate dumping or subsidy examinations, upon complaint or, where necessary, ex officio, is given to the Ministry of Economy (“Ministry”). Within the scope of this authority, the Ministry announces its decisions with the communiqués published on the Official Gazette.

This article will address significant amendments and novelties introduced for Turkish capital markets legislation during the first half of 2018 as in line with specific needs and interests of public and private institutions, companies, shareholders and/or investors being subject to such legislation.

The Turkish Competition Board (the “Board”) has recently published its reasoned decision  with respect to its ex officio preliminary investigation on (i) the validity of the non-compete obligation in the articles of association (“AoA”) of a joint venture company, namely WKS Istanbul Tekstil Kalite Kontrol Hiz. Ltd. Şti. (“WKS Istanbul”), which is active in quality control of textiles and (ii) the parties’ request for negative clearance of the relevant non-compete obligation.

Turkey carries its position of attraction from the foreign direct investments despite the temporary volatility from time to time. In line with the trends different sectors shine out and consequently different instruments attract investors. Real Estate sustainably carries its prominent investment instrument position due to functions and consistent yields.

Under the Turkish data protection law (“DPL”), data subjects have the right to learn who processes their personal data, the purposes and legal bases of these processing activities, and to whom and for what purposes such personal data are transferred. These rights arise from the data controllers’ obligation to inform data subjects about their processing activities. During the collection of personal data, the data controller or any other person authorized by the data controller is obliged to provide data subjects with certain information, such as the identity of the data controller and of his representative (if any), the purposes of the processing, to whom and with what purpose the processed personal data can be transferred, and the method and legal reason/basis of collection. The same article of the DPL further requires data controllers to provide information to data subjects about certain other rights, as discussed below.

The Law on the Amendment of Certain Laws for the Improvement of the Investment Environment No. 7099 (“Law”) was published in the Official Gazette last month (March 10, 2018) and introduced significant amendments to various laws, including the Turkish Commercial Code No. 6102 (“TCC”), the Tax Procedural Law, the Law on Legal Fees and the Law on Movable Property Pledges in Commercial Actions.

I. Legal Framework

This article will address major amendments and novelties stipulated for foreign exchange and foreign exchange denominated loans.

The Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) completed its work in progress on revising the Guidelines on Vertical Agreements (“Guidelines”) that was issued based on the Block Exemption Communiqué on Vertical Agreements (“Communiqué No. 2002/2”).

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law is an eminent, independent Turkish law firm based in Istanbul. The firm was founded in 2005. 

ELIG Gürkaynak is committed to providing its clients with high-quality legal services. We combine a solid knowledge of Turkish law with a business-minded approach to develop legal solutions that meet the ever-changing needs of our clients in their international and domestic operations.

We have a legal team of 90 people. ELIG Gürkaynak lawyers have the knowledge and experience to assist clients in all fields of law. ELIG Gürkaynak’s core strengths are corporate law, mergers & acquisitions, competition law, anti-corruption, white collar irregularities, EC law, Internet law, technology, media & telecommunications law, data protection & privacy law, banking and finance law, litigation, energy, oil & gas law, administrative law, real estate law, anti-dumping law, pharma and healthcare regulatory, employment law and intellectual property law.

As an independent Turkish law firm, ELIG Gürkaynak collaborates with many international law firms on various projects.

For further information, please visit www.elig.com.