What happens if Notification is sent to an address that is no longer current?
The Notification will have been sent to that old address because you informed the Authorities that it was your place of abode previously. It is up to you to correct your address on all government forms and registers, keeping it current as you move. The Judiciary uses the address you gave them, which in law is perceived to be current. As a result, the claim of not having received the Notification because you no longer live at that address is no defense unless you can demonstrate that you had supplied a correct version.
What does it mean when the Notification is made to my ‘neighbourhood governor’(muhtar)?
Should you not be at home when the Notification was issued, an ‘alert’ will be pasted on your door, telling you that your Notification has been left with your neighborhood governor or Muhtar. The date on which the Muhtar receives the Notification is considered, in law, to be the date when you yourself were issued it. The legal clock has started ticking. In the event that you discover such documentation on your door, act on it immediately – find out what it is about and move forward to resolve it.
What do I do when I receive a Notification from the Court, the Office of the Public Prosecutor, or the Civil Law Enforcement Agency?
Any ‘Notification’ from these bodies is sent to inform you of an official transaction. These are in turn the result of complicated legal processes which you may lose if you neglect to act upon the Notification in a timely manner. Be aware that when a Notification reaches you this means that a judicial action has been started in which you are named and to which you must respond. Should you not respond when you are the opponent in a Civil Court, this will be taken to mean that you deny all claims against you. Should you not respond when you are the claimant in a Civil Court, it means that you forfeit important rights such as the primary submission of evidence to the Court and the opportunity to respond to the evidence presented by the other party. If you neglect to respond to Payment Orders issued by Civil Enforcement Offices, it is taken to mean that you accept responsibility for the debt and undertake to pay the sum charged. Perhaps most crucially, should you fail to respond to the Notification issued by the Criminal Court, you risk arrest by the police.
How long does a lawsuit take in Turkey?
The short answer is – how long is a piece of string? Every case is different, and the length of time it takes for one to proceed does not guarantee that the next one will operate at the same pace. However, the Turkish Justice Ministry has published some statistics that offer enlightenment. In 2007 it took 202 days, on average, to try a case in Turkey. However, the actual figure varies widely from court to court. A case filed in the Civil Court of Intellectual Property took, on average, 619 days; one in the Commercial Court was settled in 410 days; in a Labor Court in 441 days, in the Family Court a more acceptable 157 days, and in the Civil Courts of Peace a positively speedy 108 days. It is worth remembering that during August much of the Turkish Judiciary is in recess, so only certain types of lawsuits may proceed with their court hearings.
Can I expect my legal fees and cost reimbursed by the opponent party if I win the case?
Turkish law doesn’t allow claimants to seek reimbursement for their fees. The logic behind this principle is that people might be deterred from fighting a case in court if they thought they risked liability for their opponent’s fees should they lose.
Can I divorce my Turkish husband or wife in Turkey even if we did not register our marriage in this country?
Yes, that is possible.