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Employees may have access to important and confidential information related to the employer, including the company’s operations, clientele and trade secrets. Use of such information without employer’s knowledge may harm the legitimate interests of the employer. In this respect, an employee should not compete with his/her employer according to the duty of fidelity during the term of the employment agreement. As this is a statutory duty imposed on the employee, there is no need for such non-compete obligation to be explicitly set out in the employment agreement.

In its decision dated June 8, 2021, and numbered 2018/5832, the Turkish Constitutional Court [the “Court”] ruled that the dismissal of the case in terms of non-jurisdiction nearly after seven years on the ground of the arbitration clause does not violate the right to property.

As known, several months ago, Whatsapp Inc. had informed its users about the update on the terms of use and privacy policy and announced that “the users must consent to their WhatsApp data being shared with Facebook companies in order to continue using WhatsApp, otherwise as of February 8, 2021 they will not be able to use WhatsApp”. This update stirred a huge debate among users, and millions stopped using the app. That being said, on January 12, 2021, the Personal Data Protection Authority [“Authority”] initiated an ex officio investigation as to whether WhatsApp infringed Article 15 of Turkish Personal Data Protection Law No. 6698 [“Law No.6698”]. 

On April 13, 2021, Turkish Constitutional Court [the “Court”] ruled that the applicant's right to property is violated because his assets have been restricted by a preliminary injunction for 15 years. The judgement emphasized that for a preliminary injunction restricting right to property to be deemed proportionate, proportionality should be established in terms of both the scope and the duration of the injunction.

The Board of Directors ["Board"] is the main management body of a joint stock corporation. Accordingly, the Board members have extensive management and representation duties. Given that such broad duties inherently carry the same level of liability risk, legal liability of the Board members has always been a critical topic. [For detailed information on the legal liability of Board members and the liability lawsuit you can refer to our article: “Legal Liability of Board of Directors Members”]. The Board, as the representative and administrative authority, must be able to support the corporation in reaching the intended goal, fulfill the management duties without hesitation, and take independent decisions. Therefore, considering the magnitude of the liability risk, a warranty mechanism –insurance– to balance the increasing liability of the Board has been discussed for many years as an indispensable element in liability cases. Today, the "Board of Directors’ Liability Insurance" [“Board Members Liability Insurance”] has already become as a widely used insurance type throughout the world, from United States to England and Continental Europe to Germany, Japan and Turkey. Issuance of this easily accessible insurance policy provides a significant assurance for the Board members.

The relationship between a joint stock corporation and its board of directors ["Board"] is established by the acceptance of duty by the Board member, who is elected by the general assembly of shareholders or exceptionally by the Board. As a result, a contractual relationship is established between the corporation and the Board member.

Protection of the share capital is one of the fundamental principles of the Turkish Commercial Code [“TCC”]. In this respect, capital loss and negative equity [the so-called “technical insolvency”] are regulated under Article 376 of the TCC, and a Communiqué was enacted to set the rules regarding the application of this Article. As a result of the unpredictable fluctuations in foreign exchange rates in the economy as well as the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the financials of the companies, Article 376 of the TCC gained a special popularity among the Turkish companies in recent years. Accordingly, this article explains the situations where capital loss and technical insolvency may emerge and the measures that should be taken in the given circumstances. The article further elaborates on the new rules adopted to reduce the negative effects arisen from the drop of Turkish Lira and the Covid-19 pandemic. The potential liability of the directors that may arise in case the necessary actions are not taken is also addressed.

From the outset, the Covid-19 Pandemic has significantly affected the usual rules of conduct and, as a natural consequence, commercial activities of businesses. How this "extraordinary" situation, which no one could foresee or could be expected to predict, would impact legal relationships has been the subject of numerous debates that are yet to be concluded.

As a result of the increasing global trade, the international debt collection has become a more important issue nowadays. Given that debt collection proceedings vary across countries, this article explains the costs of initiating execution proceedings in Turkey.

Release is one of the primary resolutions the shareholders can adopt regarding board of directors [“Board”] members. With release, the general assembly approves the transactions carried out by the Board members during the relevant fiscal year in terms of their economic and legal consequences. Hence, the corporation loses the right of action upon release. As such, the release resolution is considered to be a “negative acknowledgement of debt” and therefore removes any debt.

On July 14, 2021, the Law No.7332 Amending the Animal Protection Law and Turkish Penal Law [“Amendment Law”] was published in the Official Gazette, and accordingly, the following significant amendments have been introduced to the Animal Protection Law No. 5199 [“APL”].

With entry into force of the "Law on the Amendment of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Some Other Codes" ["Amendment Law"] published in the Official Gazette dated July 14, 2021, the terms in the Administrative Procedural Law No. 2577 [“APL”] regulating the silence of the administration against the applications filed are shortened by half. In addition, some crucial changes were introduced to the Turkish Penal Code No. 5237 ["TPC"] and the Criminal Procedural Law No. 5271.

With the most recent technological developments, Artificial Intelligence [“AI”] and related technologies are being deployed by governments and businesses alike in a wide spectrum of sectors. With applications of AI increasing exponentially in every possible aspect of society, there is no doubt an accompanying aspect of risk, which is nearly impossible to measure. In this article, we try to focus on the possible legal ramifications and liability risks associated with AI decision-making.

International trade has grown exponentially, and international trade undoubtedly means international debt collection. Especially, while the number of financially distressed companies is rapidly increasing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, international debt collection has become more important than ever. Debt collection proceedings are in general similar for both Turkish and foreign companies and individuals. Accordingly, this article highlights the significant points on how a foreign company or individual can collect its receivables in Turkey.

According to the Turkish Commercial Code [“TCC”], the governing and representative body of a joint stock corporation is the “board of directors” [“Board”]. Board members are obliged to carry out their duties with the due care of a cautious manager and to protect the interests of the corporation in good faith. Board members can be held liable for the damages incurred by the corporation, the shareholders, or creditors in cases where they fail to fulfil their duties arising from the law or the articles of association. [TCC Art.553(1)]

Interim attachment is a provisional remedy under the Enforcement and Bankruptcy Law No. 2004 [the “EBL”] which individuals or legal entities can request for their monetary claims. Thanks to this institution, the debtor’s assets could be frozen to secure due yet unsecured debts, and as a result, the debtor would be forced to pay its debt.

Guleryuz Partners at a Glance

We are Güleryüz Partners, an Istanbul based law firm, offering high-quality legal services to domestic and multinational clients.

Our team consists of energetic young professionals who are led by talented partners with strong academic backgrounds at prestigious universities in the USA, UK, and Germany, coupled with vast market experience exceeding a decade at top tier Turkish law firms. All our associates are fluent in English and provide legal advice in additional languages such as German and French.

Our practice ranges from complex disputes to sophisticated M&A and finance transactions. We provide niche legal services in a wide range of legal areas such as litigation and dispute resolution, local and cross border M&As, banking, finance and capital markets, venture capital investments and start-ups, and compliance and corporate governance (including data privacy, anti-corruption and white-collar crime, AML, and sanctions).

We value strong communication and information flow among our departments for the perfection of our legal services. This interdepartmental coordination enables us to take a more client-centric approach and to better understand and cater for the client needs. Our business perspective goes beyond providing excellent legal advice to our clients; we also collaborate with them as their business partners and offer them the entire legal ecosystem that they can thrive their business.  

As Güleryüz Partners, we heavily invest in our pro bono projects in Turkiye and work together with institutions, foundations, and other organizations to provide legal advice to the persons in need of help, while acknowledging the high costs usually associated with high quality legal services limit the access to justice for many people.

We also pride ourselves on fostering and promoting a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment where every individual feels valued and respected.

For further information, you may visit our website at www.guleryuz.av.tr.