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Capital commitment is one of the indispensable conditions for becoming a shareholder in a Turkish joint-stock company ("JSC"). Under Turkish law, the main responsibility of a shareholder, whether in the stage of incorporation or capital increase, is to pay the undertaken capital.

Strong investments in the Turkish infrastructure sector have been the driving force behind Turkey’s economic development. In the last decade, several investments referred to as “mega-projects” have gained much attention, such as the completed Eurasian Tunnel in Istanbul, a road transport tunnel running under the Bosphorus to connect the European and Asian sides of Istanbul; the new Istanbul Airport, increasing capacity from over 100 million to over 200 million passengers per year; the third Istanbul Bridge, still one of the largest projects with construction costs of around TRY 4.5 billion (although it fell short of expectations and required USD 2.7 billion in refinancing from ICBC and still could not be executed due to the pandemic). One of the most recent projects is the 1915 Canakkale Bridge and Highway Project.

Turkey continues to prioritize the adoption and consistent implementation of sustainability principles throughout its economy. Indeed, the Turkish Capital Markets Board recently set a voluntary threshold for companies subject to its supervision, and many are finding the use of green buildings valuable in reaching them. In addition to their economic benefits, green buildings – which are socially and environmentally compatible with their environment – are gaining importance in determining a company’s level of sustainability credibility and sustainable investment commitment.

On December 15, 2020 CEELM gathered legal experts from across the region for its annual Year-in-Review Round Table conversation. In a wide-ranging discussion, participants shared opinions and perspectives on their markets, on strong (and less-strong) practices across the region, and the effect of the COVID-19 crisis on both, as well as on how technology is changing the legal industry, and what the industry will look like in 2021.

New technologies are all the rage, as law firms adapt to the telecommuting and digitalization realities that accompanied the Covid-19 pandemic. Accordingly, we decided to ask our Law Firm Marketing experts from across the region a simple question: “What is the single most important/valuable piece of software you use?” As always, we asked respondents to focus on the question at hand, rather than – as we put it – using the question simply as an excuse to “tell us that their firms are awesome.” Not everyone was able to resist.

2020 was a busy year for the legislator in relation to the Turkish Capital Markets. An amendment made in the Turkish Capital Markets Law (CML) at the beginning of 2020 introduced several elements, including a Security Agent, into Turkish law. And then the pandemic hit, making the trust factor in regard to assets even more crucial than it was before. In times of uncertainty, the Security Agent may be invited to play a greater role.

In 2015 the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development created 15 base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) action plans to equip governments to address tax avoidance by means of domestic and international rules and instruments. The purpose of the action plans is to ensure that profits are taxed where economic activities generating the profits are performed and where value is created.

On June 3, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that White & Case and its associated Turkish firm, GKC Partners, had advised interactive entertainment company Zynga Inc. on its USD 1.8 billion acquisition of Istanbul-based mobile gaming company Peak Oyun Yazilim ve Pazarlama, A.S. Baker McKenzie, working with its Turkish affiliate, the Esin Attorney Partnership, advised Peak on the transaction, which represented the largest acquisition of a start-up in Turkey to date, and makes Peak the country’s first “unicorn.” Dentons, along with its affiliate Balcioglu Selcuk Ardiyok Keki Avukatlik Ortakligi, advised selling shareholder Hummingbird Ventures CVA, Abcoo advised Peak Founder and CEO Sidar Sahin, the Verdi Law Firm advised selling shareholders Earlybird Verwaltungs GmbH, Evren Ucok, and Demet Suzan Mutlu Ucok, and BTS & Partners advised selling shareholder Endeavour Catalyst.

The year started with expectations of growth and stability. Along came COVID-19, and the focus shifted to stability and survival. The Turkish banking sector, used to market turmoil, took proactive steps, and the authorities matched the effort.

As national borders lose their importance when it comes to capital mobility, tax revenues have decreased significantly and tax avoidance has become a matter of common concern for countries. Therefore, exchange of information in tax matters has become one of the most important topics on the agenda of countries and international organizations in recent years.

Personal data, one of the most discussed topics in the legal world, is protected in many countries, and it is regulated in Turkey under the Personal Data Protection Law, number 6698 (the “Law”), and secondary legislation. In addition, the decisions of the Personal Data Protection Board established under the Law (the “Board”), provide insight on the rules applicable to data controllers and processors.

The Turkish capital markets have undergone many regulatory amendments and adjustments this year to provide a more robust environment in terms of transparency, competition, and stability for investors. As regulators have kept manipulative transactions in their sights to overcome the panic created by COVID-19, the Turkish Capital Markets Board (CMB) has imposed many sanctions and penalties.

COVID-19 has swiftly become a global outbreak, affecting not only people’s lives but also the global economic conjuncture. Like most countries, the Republic of Turkey, has adopted several measures to eliminate or lessen impacts of COVID-19 on the economy. With this article, we will provide an overview of the Turkish legal market and key legislation enacted during the COVID-19 outbreak.

A CEE Legal Matters special report on how international firms operate in Turkey – and the echoing silence that greets attempts to investigate.

Are you still reading? Despite the title this is not a COVID-19 piece. Quite frankly we have had enough of that. We want life to go back to how it was – but it won’t. Something new is happening. People have been humbled by the effects of the C-word on their very existence. Everyone is suddenly more aware of the need to change – in Turkey, for example, we always kiss and hug upon meeting, and we are not used to the concept of social distancing at all. Now we stand a meter apart and elbow or fist bump – which still feels odd to me. We are aware and we are asking ourselves – “what needs to change? Was this our fault? What is biodiversity? What can we do?”

As Europe begins a tentative re-opening following several difficult months of quarantining, social distancing, and working-from-home, we spoke to CMS’s Warsaw-based Employment Partner Katarzyna Dulewicz and Vienna-based Dispute Resolution Partner Daniela Karollus-Bruner for their perspective on the process.

Government institutions in Turkey are continuing to take various measures to mitigate the economic impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At its meeting on April 2, 2020, the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) adopted a new decision (the “Decision”) accepting the COVID-19 pandemic as a “force majeure” event under Article 35 of the Electricity Market Licensing Regulation (the “Licensing Regulation”) and Article 19 of the Regulation on Unlicensed Electricity Production in the Electricity Market (the “Unlicensed Regulation”). The decision was published in the Official Gazette on April 4, 2020.

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