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Press releases and law firm thought leadership

This page is dedicated to keeping readers informed of the latest news and thought leadership articles from law firms across the globe.

If your firm wishes to publish press releases or articles, please contact Shehab Khurshid on +44 (0) 207 396 5689 or shehab.khurshid@legalease.co.uk

 

Legal Developments Worldwide

Articles contributed by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke

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TURKISH CIVIL PROCEDURE AT A GLANCE

June 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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Dispute resolution and settlement procedures are becoming increasingly important in this time of global financial crisis, particularly in the commercial field. Consequent to the need for specialized legal counsel to prevent further disputes by structuring investments and partnerships appropriately, post-transactional litigation advice and insight into Turkish procedural law applicable to dispute resolution have become more relevant to foreign investors in Turkey. This article provides a general overview of the Turkish judiciary's structure, as well as a summary of the fundamental principles of Turkish civil procedure.

TIME’S UP FOR TURKEY TO FINE-TUNE ITS AUDIOVISUAL RULES

June 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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As part of the process of adapting to EU legislation, Turkey made it a national goal to complete harmonization studies with more flexible audiovisual rules by the end of 2009. To this end, the Radio & Television Supreme Council (“RTUK”) prepared a draft broadcasting law (“Draft Law”) to replace the current broadcasting Law on Establishment of Radio and Television Enterprises and Their Broadcasts (“Broadcasting Law”). To a significant extent, the Draft Law was inspired by the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive 2007/65/EC (“Directive”), a less detailed but more flexible and modernized regulation that covers all audiovisual media services, meaning traditional television (linear service) and video-on-demand (non-linear services). In this regard, the Draft Law introduces new terminology, notions and concepts and revises certain provisions in line with the Directive. It is currently pending before the Turkish Parliament.

WHISTLEBLOWING UNDER TURKISH LAW

June 2010 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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The definition of “whistleblowing” in the Thesaurus of the International Labour Organization (ILO) is: “The reporting by employees or former employees of illegal, irregular, dangerous or unethical practices bty employers.” To protect both private and public-sector whistleblowers from occupational harm such as dismissal, suspension, demotion, forced or refused transfers, ostracism, reprisals, threats, or petty harassment, an increasing number of countries are adopting legislation on whistleblowing procedures. The global corruption-monitoring organization Transparency International has described whistleblowing as a 4-stage process :

INTRODUCING THE UMBRELLA ENVIRONMENTAL PERMIT: “ENVIRONMENT PERMIT AND LICENSE”

December 2009 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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The “Regulation on the Permits and Licenses required under the Environment Law” (Environment Permit and License Regulation), introduced in April 2009, sets forth the procedures under the Environment Law for obtaining the permits and licenses for activities listed in Annexes 1 and 2. Under this Regulation:

LEASE VS. RIGHT OF CONSTRUCTION: WHICH WINS OUT IN A NEW REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT?

December 2009 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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The lease – the leading option for real property investors in Turkey – has a strong competitor these days: the right of construction. Factors such as the nature of the site, the purpose of the investment and the investment fund help investors to determine the appropriate transaction type. But apart from assessing these commercial and financial concerns, a comparison of the respective benefits of the lease agreement (right in personam) and right of construction agreement (right in rem) from a legal perspective can help in making the right investment, in the right place, with the right kind of real estate transaction.

WHAT’S NEW IN THE DRAFT TRADEMARK LAW?

December 2009 - Intellectual Property. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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Decree with Force of Law No. 556 (“Trademark Decree”), prepared and issued by the Council of Ministers in accordance with Directive 89/104 EEC of European Council and European Community Regulation (EC) No 40/94 on Trademarks, introduced the formal protection of trademarks in Turkey.

Reforming The Electricity Market:A Balancing Act

July 2009 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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The first effects of private sector involvement in the electrical power sector were observed in 1986 with the enactment of Law No. 3996 regulating the build-operate-transfer model and welcoming the private sector - including foreign capital - into the electricity market.  Prior to that time, the electricity market was run by the state, following passage of the nationalization acts from 1938-44. Whereas the first attempts at liberalizing the electricity market had been observed long before, actual liberalization of the electricity market took place only with the enactment of Law No. 4628 on the Electricity Market in 2001.

Turkey’s New PPP Law Is On The Way

July 2009 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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The draft of Turkey's long-awaited new law on Public-Private Partnerships ("PPP") is now ready for the parliamentary legislative process.  Although entitled the Law on Public-Private Cooperation Models, the key rationale behind the draft law - as evident from its provisions - is to balance distribution of project risk between public and private parties to contracts. The draft law declares one of its key goals to be allocating risk to the party which can best cope with it, whether public or private.

Privatization in Turkey: Full Steam Ahead

July 2009 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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Over the last few years, economic and legislative reforms – as well as a newly established macroeconomic policy that includes a serious privatization program – have built up a strong private sector in Turkey.

 

Regulatory Developments in the Turkish Real Estate Market

March 2009 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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This article contains information on the latest regulatory developments in the Turkish real estate market, in such areas as public tenders and real estate investment trusts. In particular, we wish to bring you up to date on developments that have occurred between December 2008 and March 2009.

COMING SOON: SELECTED SECTIONS OF THE DRAFT COMMERCIAL CODE

December 2008 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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Certain sections of the draft Turkish Commercial Code (The Turkish Commercial Code was originally enacted on 9 July 1956 and, having been through several minor amendments, is still in force) (the “Draft TCC”) that are still pending before the Turkish National Assembly were summarized in one of our previous Legal500 articles dated May 2008.  This article discusses some of the other sections of the Draft TCC which represent a significant departure from the old approach adopted by the Turkish Commercial Code (the “TCC”).

Financing a Power Plant

December 2008 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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The majority of Turkey's infrastructure has historically been supplied by public authorities or private entities through a build/operate/transfer model.  In emerging markets like Turkey, lack of capital is a major concern for large scale projects.  Meeting infrastructure needs in emerging markets requires a substantial amount of project finance. Accordingly, both domestic and foreign sources of capital have to be identified and used efficiently for satisfying the infrastructure needs without creating a heavy financial burden on the treasury.

Draft Commercial Code Still Pending - But Help is On The Way

May 2008 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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The Turkish Commercial Code (the "TCC") was enacted in 1956, and governs commercial transactions, as well as the establishment and governance of capital stock companies and sole proprietorships. Therefore, although the legislature has from time to time introduced amendments in response to changed circumstances and urgent needs, it is clear that the TCC is inadequate in meeting the legal and commercial demands of contemporary commercial and corporate life. Accordingly, in order to harmonize Turkish commerce with globalization, the government prepared a draft commercial code (the "Draft") for discussion in 2005. The Draft has been accepted by the Justice Commission and is still pending before the Turkish Grand National Assembly, but may be enacted in 2008.

Nuclear Energy Investments In Turkey: “Nu” and “Clear” Legal Framework

April 2008 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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The Nuclear Law [1], which provides general outlines for the commissioning, operation and decommissioning of nuclear power plants, was recently enacted after a long period of debates.  The Nuclear Law establishes the general principles and leaves the implementation thereof to ancillary legislation issued by the Turkish Atomic Energy Institution ("TAEK") or the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources ("MENR").

[1]Law No. 5710 on the Commissioning and Operation of Nuclear Power Plants and on Energy Sales as adopted by the Turkish Parliament on 9 November 2007, and published in the Official Gazette dated 21 November 2007, No. 26707.

The Renewable Energy Sector: All Powered Up

April 2008 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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Faced with the threat of a serious electricity deficit that may occur in the near future, the Government appears to be encouraging the private sector to invest in the energy industry. Recent developments explicitly demonstrate the private sector's interest and appetite for investing in energy generation, especially for the construction of power generation plants employing renewable energy sources.

Turkey's New Condominium Law: New Concepts Address Old Problems

April 2008 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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The Turkish real estate market has experienced explosive growth over the past few years. Construction of numerous shopping malls and multi-family residential developments and planned communities has made condominium ownership one of the most important practice areas of real estate law. Those familiar with the concept of condominiums, with general and limited common elements and with strata title regimes, will find both long-established, as well as unique, provisions in Turkey's new condominium law.

Commitment to Liberalize Communications

April 2008 - TMT ( Technology, Media & Telecoms). Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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Since the beginning of 2007, the Telecommunications Authority ("Authority") and the Ministry of Transportation have stepped up the pace of their studies and regulatory activities. The Authority has issued further regulations that are important to the liberalization process by enhancing competition in this vibrant market. Although the Electric Communications Law, which is the telecommunication sector's landmark legislation, is still under review, secondary legislation is steadily evolving towards compliance with the European Union's Acquis Communitaire. 

Nuclear Energy Investments in Turkey: “Nu” and “Clear” Legal Framework

April 2008 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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The Nuclear Law,[1]which provides general outlines for the commissioning, operation and decommissioning of nuclear power plants, was recently enacted after a long period of debates.  The Nuclear Law establishes the general principles and leaves the implementation thereof to ancillary legislation issued by the Turkish Atomic Energy Institution ("TAEK") or the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources ("MENR").

[1]Law No. 5710 on the Commissioning and Operation of Nuclear Power Plants and on Energy Sales as adopted by the Turkish Parliament on 9 November 2007, and published in the Official Gazette dated 21 November 2007, No. 26707.

New Insurance Law and Regulations Bring Progress Through Transparency

April 2008 - Finance. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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Liberalization of the regulations governing the insurance sector commenced in the 1980s, in parallel with legal reform of other financial sectors. Primarily the banking and securities industries were affected as the possibility of Turkey's accession to the European Union gained credibility.  This liberalization trend ultimately spread throughout the broader financial markets, and gathered momentum in the early 2000s.

Amendments to Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition in Turkey

February 2008 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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Law No - 4054 on the Protection of Competition (the "Law") has been substantially amended by Law No: 5728 published in the Official Gazette on 8 February 2008 (the "Amendments"). The Amendments provide for: (i) the calculation of fixed fines; (ii) the introduction of new fines to be levied against the directors and employees of the undertakings who exerted decisive influence that resulted in the infringement of the Law; (iii) the introduction of a leniency mechanism; and lastly (iv) the collection of fines. 

The Amendments are expected to significantly increase the enforcement powers of the Competition Board (the "Board").

Outsourcing of Banking Activities

December 2007 - Finance. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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The competitive working environment and the need to focus on core activities force today’s financial institutions to outsource some services, critical to their business, for which they have limited expertise and/or limited funds.  Outsourcing offers a cost-efficient business by preventing time loss. The Banking Law and the recently-relevant legislation comprise provisions with respect to outsourcing in light of global trends. The Banking Law provides the definition of outsourcing companies (supporting service providers) in Article 3; however it leaves the details of application to the secondary legislation. Regulation regarding the Procurement of Outsourcing Services by Banks and Authorization of the Service Providers (the “Outsourcing Regulation”) enacted on 1 November 2006 regulates outsourcing companies and the specifications of outsourced services.

Turkey, the Energy Bridge

December 2007 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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Located at a strategic junction between the world's economic centers and sources of energy, Turkey is poised to become a significant energy hub and energy bridge between major oil producing countries of the Middle East, the Caspian, Africa, and the strong demanding markets of Europe, helping the former to reach out to the markets and the latter to diversify its dependence on a limited number of source countries.

Report on the Energy Sector and Challenges it is Facing

December 2007 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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The last quarter of 2006 and the first half of 2007 set the scene for a number of developments in the energy sector, including the initiation and then cancellation of the privatization process concerning the electricity distribution companies and electricity generation facilities. This time frame also encompassed legislative developments concerning renewable energy as well as new steps towards the establishment of the first nuclear power plant in Turkey.

Financial Assistance Squeeze-Outs and De-Listings

November 2007 - Finance. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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The debate concerning the use of debt pushdown mechanisms in secured financing of listed company acquisitions has been ongoing in Turkey since the late 1990s.

Securities Update in Turkey

November 2007 - Finance. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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A few years ago, the Turkish Capital Markets Board (the "CMB"), the independent governmental authority regulating and monitoring the capital market activities in Turkey, prepared a bill amending the existing Law on Capital Markets No. 2499[i] (the "Capital Markets Law"), (the "Draft Law")[ii] to revamp the current one with a view to bring it in line with the relevant European Union (the "EU") legislation. Capital Markets Law is the main piece of legislation governing capital markets in Turkey. 

Future Vision of the BRSA under the New Banking Regulations

July 2007 - Finance. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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In the IMF Letter of Intent dated 7 July 2006, the Turkish Government stated that "the Banking Regulatory and Supervision Agency ("BRSA") shall continue to bring its supervision closer to best international practice. To this end, it has implemented the organizational changes envisaged in the Banking Law No. 5411 ("Law"), including the merger of onsite and offsite supervision. The BRSA has also adopted the other remaining measures set out in its October action plan, including new audit teams and further improvements in transparency and accountability. To come into line with Basel Core Principles, the BRSA will complete the drafting of supporting regulations for the Law by end August 2006."

CMB’s Approach Towards Use Of Target Company Assets To Secure Financing Of Acquisitions

June 2007 - Finance. Legal Developments by HergĂĽner Bilgen Ă–zeke.

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The debate concerning the use of debt pushdown mechanisms in secured financing of listed company acquisitions has been ongoing in Turkey since the late 1990s. With increasing investment by foreign private equity funds, the scope of this debate may become broader, and cover the use of a target company’s assets for securing the financing of an acquisition. This structure involves the acquisition of a company (“Target Company”) through a special purpose vehicle (“SPV”), whereby the SPV obtains financing for the acquisition of the Target Company’s shares, and actually uses the Target Company’s assets to secure such financing.