Turkey recently amended Article 344 of the Code of Obligations, which regulates the upper limit of rent increases for residences and workplaces with a roof that can be agreed on by parties to a rental agreement or determined by the courts. The upper limit will now be calculated based on the consumer price index rather than the producer price index as before.
Each January, the Central Bank determines and announces the default interest to be applied where parties fail to agree on such interest or when their agreement is or becomes invalid. According to the Central Bank's recent announcement in the Official Gazette, default interest has been set at 21.25% as of 1 January 2019, compared with 10.75% in 2018.
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 Communique on the Procedures and Principles regarding the Application of Article 376 of the Commercial Code recently came into force. It determines the procedures and principles that will apply to certain companies (ie, joint stock companies, limited liability companies and limited partnerships whose capital is divided into shares) in cases of capital loss and insolvency.
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.
In an effort to improve collateralisation options and facilitate the access of small and medium-sized businesses to financing, Parliament recently adopted a new law introducing significant changes to pledges over movable assets. The law introduces easier procedures for establishing a pledge over movable assets, such as through registration instead of transferring possession.
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.
Parliament recently enacted International Workforce Law 6735, which governs the employment of foreign individuals in Turkey. The law aims to set the rules and principles regarding work permit applications and exemptions for foreign individuals and determine the rights and obligations of government authorities to implement and monitor work permit policies for foreign nationals.
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.