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Leading individuals

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Managing partner Gönenç Gürkaynak heads the practice at ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law, which recently hired Ekrem Kalkan, the former chief economist of the Turkish Competition Authority, as its competition economics counsel. In one highlight, the team successfully advised Dow Chemical Company and DuPont on preparing and submitting merger control notifications to the Turkish Competition Authority. Google, L’Oréal, Mercedes-Benz and Pfizer are also clients.

Balcıoğlu Selçuk Akman Keki stands out for the breadth of its expertise, with the practice fielding several economists, including recent arrival Emin Köksal, and regulatory specialists. Practice head Şahin Ardıyok represented online food ordering platform Yemek Sepeti in an abuse of dominance investigation by the Turkish competition authority. Danone and Johnson & Johnson are new clients.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law

ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law delivers the top competition law practice in Turkey with 36 competition law specialists, out of a total of 70 lawyers at ELIG. In addition to unparalleled experience in merger control issues, ELIG has vast experience in defending companies before the Turkish Competition Board in all phases of antitrust investigations, abuse of dominant position cases, leniency handlings, and before courts on issues of private enforcement of competition law, along with appeals of the administrative decisions of the Turkish Competition Authority.

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Çakmak Avukatlik Bürosu frequently represents client in sectors such as energy, healthcare and banking on transactional aspects of competition law. Mehtap Yildirim Öztürk and Gamze Oz are recommended.

Esin Attorney Partnership, member of Baker & McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein is experienced in handling merger control work and major investigations regarding cartels and abuse of dominance. Zumrut Esin and Hakki Can Yildiz are recommended.

Turunç’s team of ‘great strategists’ is ‘incredibly internationally minded and commercially savvy’. The firm advised General Motors, as local counsel, on the competition aspects of its $125bn global alliance with PSA Peugeot Citroën. Founding partner Noyan Turunç and Esin Çamlibel are the practice co-heads.

Çakmak-Gökçe Avukatlik Bürosu has particular expertise in the highly regulated insurance industry. The team advised health insurer Anthem on antitrust filings in Turkey pertaining to its proposed $54.2bn merger with Cigna. Other clients include BNP Paribas, Nestlé Waters Turkey and Gama.

Secil Abali’s team at Cerrahoglu Law Firm assists with M&A filings, negative clearance and exemption applications, and compliance investigations. Clients include Nike, Ferrero and United International Pictures Turkey.

Erdem & Erdem Law Office’s practice head Ercüment Erdem is ‘easily accessible, persuasive and a good listener with strong evaluation skills’. Mert Karamustafaoğlu, who is ‘determined, creative and experienced’, joined in 2016 from the Turkish Competition Authority. He advises on the competition aspects of compliance programmes, M&A, joint ventures, privatisations and investigations, particularly involving the energy sector.

Gün + Partners is active on a range of compliance matters concerning the medical device industry, and recently acquired major clients in the alcohol and beverage sectors. Özge Atılgan Karakulak is the practice head.

Paksoy’s competition team is ‘highly professional, responsive and service-oriented’. Practice head Togan Turan advised Kuehne + Nagel on an investigation by the Turkish Competition Authority into an alleged price-fixing agreement by cargo block-train operators. Counsel Derya Genç is also recommended.

Birsel Law Office handles competition matters for Altimo, a Russian group with a significant investment in mobile phone operator Turkcell.

Çaga & Çaga is adept at handling contentious and non-contentious competition matters. In one highlight, the firm advised a global payment card operator on acquiring a Turkish ATM provider. Erdem Degerli and Idil Çaga Degerli are the key contacts.

Çigdemtekin Dora Cakirca Aranci Law Firm’s Gamze Çiğdemtekin and Kağan Dora advised Ortho Clinical Diagnostics on the competition aspects of its agreements with multiple distributors in Turkey.

Ersoy Bilgehan Lawyers & Consultants advises international clients – including eBay’s Turkish subsidiary – on all aspects of competition law. Key names include practice head İlknur Pekşen, Zihni Bilgehan and senior associate Leyla Ulucan, who is ‘easy to deal with and always helpful’. Oguz Akal left in 2016 for an in-house position.

At Güner Law Office, founding and managing partner Ece Güner and Ömer Erdoğan are the key names. The team advised Webhelp on the competition aspects of its acquisition of majority stakes in Turkish Call Centre operators Callpex and Bin Çağrı. The firm also provides ongoing competition advice to 21st Century Fox.

Moroglu Arseven acts for clients including British American Tobacco and cement company Vicat Turkey, and frequently advises on distribution agreements. Bora İkiler heads the team.

Pekin & Pekin’s practice head Kemal Serdengeçti advised Chinese conglomerate Sinochem Group on a filing before the Turkish Competition Authority pertaining to majority control of Halcyon Agri. Okan Or is also recommended.

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Legal Developments in Turkey

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • New Industrial Property Law

    The Industrial Property Law abrogating the patchwork of decrees that governed intellectual and industrial property rights has been published in the Official Gazette and entered into force on January 10, 2017.
  • Privatization of Domestic Coal-Fired Power Plants in Turkey

    The privatization tender of Çayırhan-2 coal reserve area and the construction of a coal-fired power plant project (“Çayırhan-2 Project ”) was concluded on February 6, 2017, which has been the first of the new wave of privatization of coal reserves and construction of lignite coal-fired power plants in Turkey in line with the recent incentives regarding utilization of domestic coal reserves for electricity generation. This client alert outlines the main novelties in relation to this new wave of lignite-fired power plant tenders, which is expected to continue with several other privatizations in 2017 as explained below.
  • Important Changes to the Electricity Market Licensing Regulation

    On February 24, 2017, the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (“EMRA ”) published a Regulation (“Amending Regulation ”) containing important changes to the Electricity Market Licensing Regulation (“Licensing Regulation ”), including the removal of the share transfer restriction at the pre-license period for transfers to foreign companies and foreign-capital companies, and changes related to the Renewable Energy Resource Areas (“YEKA ”). Highlights of major changes are as follows:
  • The New ICC Arbitration Rules

    As of 1 March 2017, the new Arbitration Rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (“New ICC Rules ”) have come into effect and superseded the former version of the ICC arbitration rules, which have been in effect since 2012.
  • Novelties Introduced by the Movable Pledge Law

    As of January 1, 2017, Law No. 6750 on Pledge over Movable Assets in Commercial Transactions ("Movable Pledge Law"), which was enacted on October 20, 2016, entered into force and abolished Law No.1447 on Commercial Enterprise Pledge ("Commercial Enterprise Pledge Law"). The Movable Pledge Law introduces significant changes and offers more practical methods for establishing pledge over movable assets as explained below.
  • Determination of Injury in Anti-Dumping Investigations: Turkey’s Side of the Story

    I - Introduction
  • Turkish Health PPP Projects

    The Turkish health sector has undergone major reforms over the past ten years as part of the health transformation program. The most important pillar of such program has been the development of public-private partnership (“PPP ”) model health campus projects. More than twenty health campus projects with an investment amount of more than € 10 billion have been developed through PPP model in Turkey. They are currently at different stages ranging from tendering to operation, and more than ten health PPP projects are still in the pipeline.
  • Infrastructure REIC: An Alternative Source of Funding for Infrastructure Projects

    With the start of operation in certain BOT and other PPP model infrastructure projects in Turkey, refinancing alternatives have become more attractive and diversified. Capital market instruments and institutions are likely to have a greater share in the refinancings of projects which have become operational and the construction risks have been removed. Over the last few years, the use of capital market instruments in the infrastructure financings have gained a new impetus with the introduction of various incentives and financing solutions in this aspect. Most recently, the removal of the 1/3 and 1/5 bond issuance limits for healthcare PPP projects on 18 February 2017 represented an important step towards incentivizing the use of bonds in the healthcare sector. In line with this overall strategy, the government has also adopted various measures to make the Real Estate Investment Companies (“REICs ”) more attractive for the financing/refinancing of infrastructure projects such as BOT, BLT and other PPP projects.
  • Ankara-Niğde Highway Project

    Tender process for 330 km Ankara-Niğde Highway Project has been launched by the General Directorate of Highways upon publication of the tender announcement in the Official Gazette on December 30, 2016.
  • Establishment of the Natural Gas Spot Market in Turkey

    In line with the government’s objectives to make Turkey a regional hub for natural gas trading, a natural gas spot market has been established by the Natural Gas Organized Wholesale Market Regulation published in the Official Gazette on 31 March 2017.

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