Lawyer in Turkey: Fraudulent Sale

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fraudulent Sale

Usually my articles cover matters relating the purchase, sale or rental of property in Turkey, as well as a range of associated issues. However, recently I had a case where tourists appeared to have been duped by a jeweller. Because it is important that you are aware of your legal rights and options in such cases, I will discuss in this article the subject ‘fraudulent sales’.

A foreigner couple books a nice holiday to Turkey. They enjoy the holiday and they are having a great time until their day trip to Antalya ended in an attempt to con them. A visit to a jewellery store, what should have been a short stop, took rather longer then expected. After spending several hours in this store the lady gives in and they sell her jewellery and inform her that they are 18 carat gold with real brilliant stones. The price of the jewelry is € 15.000. She pays a deposit and agrees that the rest will be paid by installments. The minute she walks out of the store she already regrets her purchase, but the more when she gets home and discovers that the jewels are not worth the money and value like the seller told her in Antalya. Luckily she had kept the guarantee and receipt. When she contacts the jewellery store they were only willing to compromise on the price and would not to take the jewellery back, despite the fact that the lady no longer wanted to keep the jewellery. She wants her deposit back and wants to cancel the installments.

When there is clear defect or deficiency to a purchased good, the buyer is – as long as he cancels the sales contract – entitled to a full refund of the payment (or deposit) within 30 days. The buyer is under no obligation whatsoever to give a reason for the cancellation. The 30 days period starts once the product, in this case the jewellery, has been sold and handed over to the purchaser. The law requires that within this period of time the buyer informs the seller by a written notification of his intention to cancel the sales contract and demand the deposit back.

In case the buyer does not inform the seller on time (within 30 days), the buyer will be bound by the contract and can no longer reverse the sale. In that case it is maybe a possibility that the buyer then refers to ‘vitiated consent’ during the realization of the contract. Vitiated is covered under the General Contract Law and it covers deceit, fraud, compulsion and abuse of circumstances. Such issues, however, will remain to be proven.

If you or someone you know gets into this kind of situation, do not hesitate to take action. It is good to try to solve the issue verbally, but make sure that you are also aware of your legal rights and possibilities and make use of them when necessary.

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