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The Buzz in Turkey: Interview with Zeynep Cakmak of the Cakmak Law Firm

The Buzz in Turkey: Interview with Zeynep Cakmak of the Cakmak Law Firm

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“We should talk about politics and economy together, because they go hand in hand,” says Zeynep Cakmak, Managing Partner of the Cakmak law firm in Istanbul. “Despite the trend of having snap elections in recent years, Turkey has been stable for a while. However, that might change soon, since rumors have surfaced that we will have elections in the fall.”

“Turkey has also had its share of damages from the Covid-19 crisis,” Cakmak says. “But what sets Turkey apart is its resilience. Our country has been through many periods of turmoil and has developed a resistance to it. That is why the state is functioning well despite the shocks, and there is no disruption in the decision-making process.”

Cakman notes that, “some investors are leaving, some are coming. The profile of our investors has changed as well. We can see that an increasing number of them are coming from the Middle East, the Far East, and even the US.” In addition, she says, “On the other side, Turkish investments abroad are also on the rise, especially in the areas of infrastructure projects and energy.” 

“Another new development is the expansion of our video game industry, through the recent arrival of Voodoo on the Turkish market,” says Cakmak, referring to the recent acquisition by the French video game developer of Turkey’s Fabrika Games, which the Cakmak firm advised on (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on September 8, 2020). "Zynga also recently made big acquisitions in the sector,” she notes, referring to its acquisition of Peak Oyun Yazilim ve Pazarlama, A.S (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on June 3, 2020) and Rollic (as reported on August 12, 2020).

Meanwhile, she says, the Turkish Data Protection Authority has started implementing stricter rules on using and storing data abroad, which she says “will restrict foreign companies to an extent.” According to her, “the rules are still a bit unclear, so the full effects of the policy remain to be seen.” 

Closer to home, Cakmak says that recent changes to the Lawyers’ Code have drawn significant criticism. “The Code now allows establishment of new Bar associations on a district level, if a minimum of two thousand lawyers exists,” she says. “The changes have the potential to disrupt larger associations in big cities, which could end up fragmented. So far, though, these changes have had no effect, since no group has managed to meet the minimum requirements.”

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