Suspension of Legal Periods Due to Covid-19

According to Law no. 7226 published in the Official Gazette, dated March 26, 2020, certain legal periods stopped running until April 30, 2020. The General Assembly of Council of Judges and Prosecutors advised to adjourn to initiate criminal cases and postponement of all hearings until after April 30, 2020, except those involving people in detention.

The Presidential Decision published in the Official Gazette on April 30, 2020 extended the period of suspension mentioned above until June 15, 2020. The Council of Judges and Prosecutors published a second decision advising the extension of the above suspension until June 15, 2020.

• Which legal periods will be suspended and until when?

All legal periods defined in Code of Administrative Procedure, Code of Criminal Procedure and Code of Civil Procedure, as well as legal periods for mediation and conciliation procedures; such as periods to initiate an action, commence execution proceedings, file complaint, object, send warning and notice, file submissions; statute of limitations concerning legal rights, their use or expiration, including foreclosure, stopped running on March 13, 2020 until June 15, 2020.

Legal periods designated in Code of Enforcement and Bankruptcy and periods on enforcement law defined in other codes and periods designated by judges or enforcement and bankruptcy offices; all enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings except enforcement proceedings of maintenance, follow up procedures, initiation of new enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings and execution and enforcement of provisional attachment decisions stopped running on March 22, 2020, until June 15, 2020.

• How will the remaining period be calculated?

Legal periods that stopped will start running as of June 16, 2020. However the remaining periods that were less than 15 days, will be extended for another 15 days starting from the end of the suspension period.

• What are the exceptions to this rule?

The proceedings concerning review of detention, prosecution and investigation files that are about to expire due to statute of limitations, requests regarding the suspension of execution and other proceedings that may be considered urgent are exempted.

The statute of limitations for crime and punishment, misdemeanors and administrative sanctions, disciplinary and preventive detentions are exempted.

Legal periods concerning measures of precautions regulated under Code of Criminal Procedure are exempted.

Legal periods regarding complimentary proceedings of provisional injunctions regulated under Code of Civil Procedure are exempted.

The concordatum periods will continue to apply both for debtor and creditor throughout the suspension period.

Within the framework of enforcement and bankruptcy law, if a sale is scheduled to take place during the suspension period, the enforcement and bankruptcy offices will reschedule the sale, without expecting a new request. In such case, the enforcement or bankruptcy office will announce the sale online and there won’t be an additional fee for the second announcement.

• What will happen if a hearing, expert examination or on-site inspection is scheduled to take place during the suspension period?

Decisions to reschedule such dates will be taken without holding a hearing.

In cases where the regular review of detention is obligatory by law, the detainee and his defense counsel will be heard by the court via Sound and Video Information System (“SEGBIS”). If there is any other person that need be present during these hearings, they will provide their statements by way of other technological means, as much as possible, in line with the recommendation of the Council of Science.

Emre Düzener, Esq.