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The slowdown in global growth and the Turkish economy as well as the depreciation in the Turkish lira in 2018 created financial instability and payment difficulties for companies, in particular regarding foreign currency debts.

The accelerating growth of the global digital economy has yielded new challenges for international taxation, an issue that has pervaded the agenda of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in recent years. Published in 2015, the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan 1 regarding the taxation of the digital economy primarily focused on the challenges arising from the distribution of the right of tax collection among the states from revenues derived from cross-border activities.

The Diri Law Firm was founded in Izmir in 1990 by Hayri Diri as an independent and full-service law firm. Thirty years later, the firm continues to serve both international and Turkish clients across a variety of different industries and sectors. But the firm is now led by Hayri Diri’s daughter, Nazan Diri Bal, who has rebranded and expanded it. With Nazan Diri Bal in charge, it is full speed ahead at Diri Legal.

Pursuant to an amendment to the Turkish Value Added Tax Law at the beginning of 2018, non-resident electronic service suppliers are now liable for Value Added Tax on services provided electronically to Turkish individuals who are not VAT taxpayers.

In the summer of 2018, CEE Legal Matters reported that Turkey’s Garanti Bank had issued its first-ever Gender Bonds. The bonds, valued at USD 75 million and issued in partnership with the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility launched by the IFC through its Banking on Women Program, and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative, are meant to finance small enterprises and companies owned or managed by women in Turkey.

Crowded cities and unplanned urbanization have always plagued Turkey. According to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization (the “Ministry”), more than ten million structures in the country violate zoning laws and regulations. These structures, including factories, shopping malls, and office buildings, are built without a construction permit, used without an occupancy permit, or violate other laws.

After Personal Data Protection Law number 6698 came into force (April 7, 2016) in Turkey, and following a two-year-transition period (which concluded on April 7, 2018), the compliance process has been initiated in regard to general principles and rules on processing of personal data.

CMS Partner Ana Radnev has a unique profile. Born and educated in Romania, joined CMS in Bucharest, then moved first to the firm’s London office (during which time she became English law qualified), then to the firm’s office in Prague. Since 2013, when CMS opened its Istanbul office, Radnev has divided her time between the Czech Republic and Turkey.

As the host of the world’s 17th largest economy and 19th largest population, Turkey’s energy needs are significant – and growing. The country’s energy demand is expected to grow about 5% each year for the immediate future, and the Turkish government has announced its plans to increase the share of renewable sources in the country’s total installed power to 30% by 2023. 

Investments can be used as tools to support and enhance a country’s economic structure. The Turkish government has developed some policies which, together, create an appropriate and advantageous investment environment for international and domestic investors.

The Law on Labor Courts Number 7036 was published and announced in the Official Gazette on October 25, 2017. One of the most important amendments stipulated in this law (the “Law”) is the introduction of a “mandatory mediation” procedure. Mediation is based on a “win-win” philosophy; this is a process where no one loses. 

On November 9, 2017, the editors of CEE Legal Matters sat down with a cross-section of experts from leading law firms and prominent in-house legal departments in Turkey to learn about the current state of affairs in that ever-changing market.

The past couple of years have been particularly challenging for Turkey’s M&A market owing to the domestic and global political climate and the weakened state of the Turkish economy. According to Deloitte’s annual M&A review published earlier this year, the M&A market in 2016 witnessed a total deal volume of USD 7.7 billion through 248 deals, resulting in the lowest deal volume since 2009. 

Reporting standards implemented within the frame of work conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for the prevention of base erosion and profit shifting has increased the reporting obligations of multinational enterprises (MNEs). 

The Deal: On June 20, 2017, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Esin Attorney Partnership and Baker McKenzie had advised Turkven Private Equity, the Akarlilar Family, and Mavi Giyim Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., the Turkish jeans and jeans-wear company, on Mavi’s IPO, with White & Case advising underwriters Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, and Is Yatirim.