16th April 2020
The number of corona virus cases exceeding one million worldwide, causes the risks on the global economy, health and judiciary system to increase. After the identification of the first coronavirus case in March 10, 2020; the Turkish government took series of measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. MSI's Turkish law member Herdem Attorneys provides further insight.
One of the first measures taken by the government was the declaration of curfew for the 65-year-old and older group, which is likely to be the most affected by the virus. This ban was recently extended to cover the under-20 group. Limited to the age range of 18-20, those who work in public institutions or in private sector that have not switched to distance working and some seasonal agricultural workers are exempted from this prohibition.
Additionally, as of March 29, 2020, passengers will no longer be able to travel with airlines and busses without a travel permit. This statement was expanded to a ban on entry and exit for all vehicles, including personal vehicles, to 30 provinces with metropolitan status and Zonguldak province, with a memorandum issued by the Ministry of Interior. Exemptions of this prohibition include those who were discharged from the hospital where they were treated, those who travelled to attend the funeral of their first-degree relatives and those who came to the city in the last 5 days and have no accommodation, those who completed military service, and those who were released from prisons.
As governments continue to publish new regulations and announcements regarding their measures to fight with the virus, it is clearly visible that for most, the primary goal is to provide resources to companies and employees who are in a difficult situation due to stagnation of economic activities following meeting the urgent needs of health systems.
Some of the economic measures taken by the Turkish government are; describing the pandemic as a force majeure event as per public procurement contracts, postponement of general assembly meetings, limitations on dividend distribution, flexibility on rent payments, modification on short time working and compensatory work rules, export control on disinfectants, medical diagnostic kits, masks and intensive care equipment.
Regarding the Turkish judiciary, except of detention, investigation and prosecution files with short statute of limitation, requests for suspension of execution, and other works and proceedings to be considered urgent; all hearings, negotiations and discoveries of the first-instance judicial and administrative courts, regional courts of justice and regional administrative courts are postponed until April 30, 2020 as a measure taken against the effect of the pandemic. Additionally, deadlines of all periods regarding to the origination, use or termination of a right in/regarding litigation, certain enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings, statutory limitation, mandatory administrative application periods and statutory periods of mediation and settlement institutions will freeze until April 30, 2020.
Herdem is a full services law firm based in Istanbul, advising corporate clients to support their business objectives and to conduct business in Turkey. The firm assists multinational and international companies in numerous industries through a partner-lead management model. Herdem is dedicated to deliver the highest standards of legal services.
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