The Law Amending the Civil Procedure Law and Certain Laws No. 7251 (“Law“) published in the Turkish Official Gazette on July 28, 2020 added “Article 73/A”, “Mediation as a prerequisite,” to the Consumer Protection Law No. 6502 (“Consumer Protection Law“), dictating that applying to mediation is a prerequisite to file lawsuits for consumer disputes involving monetary claims of TRY 10,390 and above.
As per Article 73/A added to the Consumer Protection Law, customer disputes with a monetary claim of TRY 10,390 and above and disputes that are not monetary claims are subject to mandatory mediation as a prerequisite and therefore applying for mediation before filing a lawsuit has become a prerequisite. The following disputes are not subject to mandatory mediation:
- Disputes that fall within the scope of the consumer arbitration committee’s duty (disputes with monetary claims under TRY 10,390);
- Objections to the consumer arbitration committee’s decisions;
- Injunction orders;
- Lawsuits regarding the suspension of production or sales and the recall of goods from the market; and
- Disputes in the nature of consumer actions and arising from real rights regarding real estate.
In principle, as per Article 18/A/11 of the Law on Mediation in Civil Disputes No. 6325, for prerequisite mediations, if the mediation process is concluded because a party did not attend the first mediation meeting without a valid excuse, this party will be held liable for all litigation costs and their attorney’s fee cannot be collected from the other party. However, Article 73/A of the Consumer Protection Law brings an exception to this rule: if the mediation process concludes due to the consumer not attending the first mediation meeting without a valid excuse, the customer will not be held liable for the litigation costs and their attorney’s fee can be collected from the other party.
Pending cases are excluded from the scope of mandatory mediation. As per Provisional Article 2 added to the Consumer Protection Law, provisions regarding mandatory mediation as a prerequisite will not be applied to lawsuits pending before the courts of first instance, the regional courts of appeal and the Court of Cassation as of the effective date of these provisions.
Consumer disputes concerning monetary claims of TRY 10,390 or above – except the disputes stated above as not subject to mandatory mediation – are included in the scope of mandatory mediation; applying to the mediator before filing a lawsuit has become a prerequisite. Accordingly, if a lawsuit is filed without the parties first applying to the mediator, the case will be dismissed on procedure.