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New Measures to Suspend All Legal Deadlines Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Turkey Implements New Measures to Suspend All Legal Deadlines Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

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What do the new measures provide?

On March 26, 2020, an omnibus bill (the “Bill”) passed and published on the Official Gazette, which includes miscellaneous amendments into the existing laws of the Republic of Turkey. One of the most crucial amendments was brought forth by the 1st Provisional Article of the Bill allowing the suspension of all legal deadlines.

Accordingly, all deadlines related to creation, use or termination of a right, including but not limited to:

  • to institute an action, to file for execution proceedings, to submit a complaint, an objection, a warning, or a notification, 
  • for the expiration of the statute of limitations or lapse of time,
  • for the compulsory administrative applications

and as well as all deadlines deriving from the Civil Procedural Law, Administrative Procedural Law and the Criminal Procedural Law are all retroactively suspended as of (including) March 13, 2020 until April 30, 2020.

Furthermore, the deadlines deriving from the Bankruptcy and Enforcement Law or determined by the judges or execution officers to this aspect, as well as the deadlines for the institution of execution proceedings or for the on-going execution and bankruptcy proceedings, except for the ones related to alimony claims, are all retroactively suspended as of (including) March 22, 2020 until April 30, 2020.

What are the exceptions?

There are a few the exceptions determined by the Bill. As such, the following deadlines shall not be affected by the Bill:

  • deadlines for the expiration of statute of limitations on crimes, offenses, administrative sanctions or detention,
  • deadlines for the preventive measure determined by the Criminal Proceedings Law,
  • deadlines for the preliminary injunctions determined by the Civil Proceedings Law

What will the new deadlines after the suspension period?

The effects of the amendments foreseen by the Bill will automatically cease as of April 30, 2020, unless it is decided to extend the duration of the suspension period. The Bill grants the President of the Republic the power to extend the suspension period for no more than 6 (six) months and only for once, should the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak continue. 

If the President does not extend the period, all the deadlines will continue as they are as of April 30, 2020. However, if the remaining part of the deadline is less than 15 (fifteen) days as of the suspension date, a 15 (fifteen)-day extension shall be added to the deadline as of the end of the suspension period. For example, if the deadline to institute an action was March 15, 2020, it falls within the scope of the suspension period starting with March 13, 2020. However, given that the remaining part of the deadline was only 3 (three) days, which is clearly less than 15 (fifteen) days, then an extension period of 15 days shall be added, and the new deadline shall be Friday, May 15, 2020.

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