Ece Ozelgin has been appointed Head of BTS & Partners’ Public Policy practice, as well as Managing Director at the firm’s BTS Policy initiative.
Turkey and the United Kingdom (the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ) (the “UK”) signed the Free Trade Agreement (the “FTA”) on December 29th, 2020 just before the UK exits European Union (the “EU”). The FTA, which came into force as of January 1st, 2021, ensures special trading terms for UK businesses, which can continue to export and import under preferential tariffs, compared with no agreement.
On November 18, 2020, the General Court of the European Union (“General Court”) upheld the European Commission’s (“Commission”) decision, in which Letuvos geležnkela AB (“Lithuanian Railway”) (“LG”) was found to have abused its dominant position in the Lithuanian rail freight market by removing a section of a railway track used by its competitors. In its appeal to the General Court, LG had requested that the Commission’s decision be annulled or in the alternative, the amount of the fine be reduced. While upholding the Commission’s decision, the General Court did reduce the amount of the fine imposed by almost a third, taking into account the duration and gravity of the infringement.
The Law Proposal on Preventing the Proliferation of Financing Weapons of Mass Destruction (“Proposal”) which provides several and significant amendments to the Law No. 5549 on Prevention of Laundering of Crime Revenues (“Law No. 5549”) has been accepted by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and is expected to be published in the Official Gazette in the upcoming days with the law number 7262. One of the most remarkable provisions introduced within the Proposal is the amendment to the Law No. 5549 which introduces Know Your Client (KYC) requirements to independent attorneys by way of defining them as one of the “obliged parties”.
The Law No. 7262 on Preventing the Proliferation of Financing Weapons of Mass Destruction was approved by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on December 27, 2020 (“Law No. 7262”). In the general reasoning of the proposal, it is stated that main aim of the law is to fulfill a number of recommendations of FATF (Financial Action Task Force) in several different areas in order to fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism. The Law No. 7262 mandates changes in various laws.
In 2019 and 2020, Turkish administrative courts handed down noteworthy judgments concerning two particular decisions of the Turkish Competition Board (“Board”). In both of these cases, namely the (i) Sahibinden Bilgi Teknolojileri Pazarlama ve Tic. A.Ş. (“Sahibinden”) judgment rendered by the Ankara 6th Administrative Court (“Sahibinden Judgment”) and the (ii) Enerjisa Enerji A.Ş. (“Enerjisa”) judgments rendered by the Ankara 13th Administrative Court (“Enerjisa Judgments”), the courts have shed light on and set the bar for the “standard of proof” with respect to the Board’s decisions. In both of the judgments, the administrative courts looked for whether the Board decisions had been based on sufficient evidence and analysis to prove the infringement “beyond any doubt”. The Administrative Courts have unequivocally shown that they are expecting the Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) and Board to run the extra mile and conduct more research, collect more data and base its analyses on these tangible results, rather than just relying on assumptions and mere observation of the current market status, to reach the decisions.