As part of the measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the legal time limits were suspended until April 30, 2020 with the Amendments to Certain Laws No. 7226 dated March 25, 2020. On April 30, 2020, the President of the Turkish Republic issued the “The Degree to Extend the Suspension Period to Prevent the Loss of Legal Rights” (“Decree“) and under the Decree, the suspension of time limits (e.g. statute of limitation) in legal proceedings has been extended from April 30, 2020 to June 15, 2020.
What Does the Decree Say?
With the Amendments to Certain Laws;
- All time limits regarding the origination, exercise and termination of any rights, including but not limited to the statute of limitations, peremptory terms for filing legal actions, commencing enforcement proceedings, warnings, notices, submissions, complaints and objections; time limits regulated under the Code of Administrative Procedure, the Criminal Procedure Law and the Code of Civil Procedure; and time limits in mediation and reconciliation proceedings are suspended from March 13, 2020 to April 30, 2020.
- Time limits specified in the Enforcement and Bankruptcy Law and other laws related to enforcement proceedings, and time limits determined by judges or enforcement and bankruptcy offices within this scope; and all pending enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings, except those commenced for child support payments, new enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings and interim attachment proceedings are suspended from March 22, 2020 to April 30, 2020.
As per the Decree, excluding the time limits regarding mandatory administrative remedies regulated under the Public Procurement Law No. 4734, the suspension period of the aforementioned time limits has been extended until June 15, 2020.
The Decree allows the President of the Turkish Republic to re-evaluate the suspension period based on the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The time limits will start to run the day after the suspension period ends on June 15, 2020 (June 16, 2020). The time limits that expire in 15 days or less as of the suspension period (March 13 or March 22), will end 15 days after June 15, 2020.
The ongoing spread of COVID-19 has substantially affected Turkey and the Turkish litigation practice. Within the scope of the measures taken under the Decree, almost all time limitations in legal proceedings, with certain exceptions, are suspended until June 15, 2020 in order to prevent the loss of any rights. If the spread of the pandemic slows down or gains speed, the President of Turkish Republic will re-evaluate the suspension period.
Please refer to The Esin Attorney Partnership Coronavirus Helpdesk for our client alerts regarding the legal consequences of COVID-19 on other areas.