The Law regarding Procedures for Initiating Legal Proceedings for Monetary Claims deriving from Subscription Agreements, which introduces a mandatory mediation process for commercial disputes to the Commercial Code, was recently published in the Official Gazette. Mandatory mediation will apply to all lawsuits that fall within the scope of the new law; however, it will not apply to lawsuits pending before first-instance courts, regional courts of justice or supreme courts.
The Law amending Certain Laws to Improve the Investment Environment was recently published in the Official Gazette. In order to boost Turkey's investment environment, the law has introduced notable changes to a number of different laws, including the Law on Movable Pledges in Commercial Transactions.
The recent amendments introduced to the Notification Law have significantly broadened the scope of parties for which electronic notification is compulsory. Prior to the amendments, electronic notification was compulsory only for joint stock companies, limited liability companies and limited partnerships with capital divided into shares. In contrast, following the amendments, electronic notification is now compulsory for a wide range of real persons and legal entities.
The Law amending Certain Laws to Improve the Investment Environment was published in the Official Gazette on March 10 2018 with different enforcement dates for the various amendments. The amendments introduced to the Commercial Code and other related legislation are expected to result in a move towards using trade registries in the incorporation procedure, which should accelerate the process.
Under the Commercial Code 6102, shareholders must contribute capital to commercial companies incorporated by law (the so-called 'contribution obligation'). A contribution obligation mainly arises at the time of the incorporation of or the capital increase in a commercial company. Shareholders generally prefer fulfilling their contribution obligations in cash and their liability is limited to the amount that they subscribed for under a company's articles of association.
Following the entry into force of the Law Introducing Several Amendments in Different Laws to Improve the Investment Environment in August 2016, the Communique Regarding the Signing of the Articles of Association Before the Trade Registries has now taken effect. The communique sets out the procedures to be followed when incorporation documents are signed or executed before the trade registries.
Amendments were recently introduced to the Commercial Code with the aim of fostering investment in Turkey following recent political instability and the resulting uncertainty among investors. The amendments to the Commercial Code seek to expedite incorporation procedures for companies, reduce the relating notary public costs and foster transparency.
Under the Attorneyship Law, joint stock companies with a share capital of TRY250,000 or more must have an attorney; violation of this legal obligation will result in significant administrative fines imposed by public prosecutors. Compliance with the law is recommended not only to avoid administrative fines, but also to ensure that companies and their operations are built on legally supported and evaluated grounds.
Under the Law on the Mandatory Use of the Turkish Language by Commercial Enterprises, transactions, correspondence and agreements executed in Turkey must be in Turkish. While it is common practice to execute transaction documents in foreign languages, the law is still honoured by Turkish courts. Turkish and foreign companies should therefore be aware of the legal consequences of non-compliance.
A joint stock company incorporated under Turkish law is managed and represented by a mandatory body of the company, its board of directors. Members of the board of directors owe the duties foreseen by the relevant legislation and the company's articles of association and are liable for losses incurred by the company, its shareholders and creditors due to any breach of these duties.