Lawyer in Turkey

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Succession 2017

There are many things that has to be taken care of when your partner or a loved one suddenly dies. What happens with the shared property in a holiday land as Turkey. Or the bank account?  In this time of sorrow and grief you need to search for balance in life again. Even if you have children or not, after many years you are back on your own.

In principle there are many things that you could deal with yourself. A lawyer is not directly necessarily, but the practical experience on legal and tax issues could come in handy. It is decisively important to use the services of a lawyer if  you deal with a will in heritage issues. Keep in mind that Turkey is a country that still isn't communicating very well in English. With the help of a sworn translator you can come already a very long way, but remember that he or she is not  a legal or tax advisor. Also you don't want to spend your precious time or money to a Turkish ''friend'' or a good neighbour that  well meant is trying to help you. Where do you start then?

The first step in this process is to determine who according to Turkish law are the legal heirs and their shares. Every family situation is different. The Western regulation acknowledges many different types of family situations, like registered partnership or gay marriages. But the Turkish law does not do that. And even this difference in lifestyle can have profound effects in the distribution of the estate in Turkey.

The following tables show only basic information about the share distribution of heritage joined in matrimony.

Sample of a Succession Rule: 

The next step will be to collect all the needed documents in your own country. Such as, certificate of inheritance, apostil stamps,  extracts from the population register, power of attorney and so on. Considering your future plans with the estate, a list with documents will be drawn up for you. The near future plans are most important for us. The likelihood that your plans have changed for the future after death of partner is very high. Most often the property will be sold to third parties or one of the children after death of a partner. Anyway it is convenient to schedule and gather all the documents also for the next steps in the future plans. It saves you time and money.

After that the documents are been gathered, is time to distribute the estate. On base of the foreign documents the Turkish probate court will determine the heirs and their shares in order to issue a certificate of heirs. That is why it is so important that all foreign documents are  translated thoroughly by a sworn translator. After the issuance of the certificate of heirs the administrative aspects has to be fulfilled. Here you have to think about all the actions that has to be done at the tax office and further actions that has to be taken to register the new ownership situation at the Tapu office. All in all a lot of steps that has to be taken......

Even in times of sorrow and grief, we are pleased to advise and assist you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Paying Criminal Fines in Turkey as a foreigner

What are the following actions after a criminal fine? How can you, as a  foreigner pay a fine? Where you have to pay? Can you travel to Turkey if you are convicted to pay a fine? Can you pay in terms? How do you know if the court decision is not disputed,  or in other words if it will be executed?

The chance that you will be sentenced to pay a fine after getting involved with the Turkish judicial system is very high. Any Turkish juridical decision to pay a fine will be notified to the person in question on the (foreign) residence address. But what happens afterwards? You will be groping in the dark as a foreigner. You will not be explained about the execution proceedings of the decision.

Due to international agreements with foreign authorities, the Turkish decision will be served personally to the convicted person at his/her residence address. Hereafter the appeal period of 7 days is starting to operate. In exception a public prosecutor will appeal within the 7 days. The expiry of 7 days will lead to an irrevocably determined decision. 

Once the judicial decision has been declared irrevocable, within 2 to 3 months it will be forwarded to the concerning department for the enforcement of the fine. It is not possible to pay the fine, as long as the court has not forwarded the decision to the authority who is  responsible for the enforcement of it.

The executing authority will serve a payment order c.q. notice to the address of the convicted. The serving procedure of the payment order will also take at least 3 to 4 months.

After the payment order has been served to the convicted, there is a period of 30 days to pay the fine. This is possible by paying off the total amount or in terms payment. If the fine is not paid off within the prescribed period, the fine can still be converted into a community service sentence or a custodial sentence.

You are able to do the payment in person or by an authorized lawyer at the responsible authority for the execution of the fine (mentioned in the payment order). This authority will  draw up a document submitted to the tax office. With this submitted document you have to go to the cash desk of the Turkish tax authority in order to pay the fine. You can do this by paying off the total amount or make an agreement for terms payment.  In sequel the payment receipt must be notified to the department of execution in order that the payment is entered in their system. 

It is not (yet) possible to pay off the payment from abroad or transfer it to an account of the Turkish tax authorities.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Confiscate a pet- ethical issue or not

A while ago I talked about the rights of a pet living in an apartment building.
A pet can and may not simply be banned by the owners association. I already explained that a legal intervention is a must.

This time I want to talk about, whether it is permissible to make a pet part of a collection procedure. Not that I have been through this situation myself, but last week an old case popped up. It was a remarkable case which at the same time raised an ethical question; Is it allowed to confiscate a living animal.

During a collection procedure in fact a dog was seized, in this case a French bulldog.
An employee had borrowed under false pretenses money from his employer.
The employer had tried in many ways to get his money back, but with no result. In the end he was tired of all the bullying and lies, that out of desperation and in all anger he had the dog of the employee confiscated. The dog had to go with the veterinarian until the depth was paid. The animal protection organization provided the necessary media which attracted the attention of some political figures.
At the end the depth was paid and the dog could return to his owner.

Ethical issue or not, the lawyer succeeded. The collection procedure was effective.

Do you think it is legally regulated that animals can be confiscated, during a collection procedure?
Confiscation is regulated under the Turkish Debt Collection and Bankruptcy Law.
The legislation clearly indicates which things are not exempt. Pets are not included in this list and therefore you would think they can be seized.

However; since 2004, the Law on Animal Rights in Turkey is valid. According to Article 5 of that law, a companion animal / pet being cared for in a home or garden, can not be seized as a result of a collection procedure, unless the maintenance and care of the pet is part of a commercial purpose. In other words, if the debtor uses the pet to make money, this pet may be seized.

In short; by law, it is illegal to take pets as a result of a monetary claim.
Back to the case that we have deepened us in.
The lawyer in this case was lucky that the bailiff had no knowledge of the Law of Animal Rights, otherwise the story could have taken another turn. I am afraid that of today they still don’t have any knowledge of this law. :-)