Recognition of Russian Court Decisions in Turkey
Under Turkish Law, there is a difference between recognition of foreign decision and enforcement of the decision. Applicant may ask recognition of the foreign decision solely but the decision on recognition will not enable applicant to enforce the decision by the execution department. For instance, divorce can be recognized after the court decision and records regarding the marriage under Turkish records regarding the marriage between spouses will be deleted but the content of foreign decision such as alimony issue, compensation issue will not take effect in Turkey due to solely recognition request. Which means that alimony, guardianship and compensation issues cannot be executed by execution department. Legal conditions of “recognition” of foreign court decision are more liberal than enforcement of the content.
On the other hand, an applicant can file a lawsuit by requesting “recognition and enforcement” of a foreign decision. In that case, legal conditions of the enforcement which are stricter than recognition will come to an issue. The main difference of the condition between recognition and enforcement procedure is the condition of “reciprocity”. In recognition procedure, Turkish Courts don’t seek reciprocity criteria. Relevant provisions regarding recognition and enforcement is indicated in the end of the article.
Considering our specific title of the article, Russian Decisions can be recognized in Turkey. On the other hand, enforcement of the Russian Decisions is very complicated in Turkey currently. Unlike Russian Civil Code, Turkey inserted provisions regarding enforcement and recognition of the foreign decisions into its International Private Code. In addition, Turkish provisions concerned are more liberal than Russian provisions. Reciprocity criteria of Turkey is not only depended on the international and mutual agreement as regulated in Russia (Disregarding Supreme Court Decision).
Under Turkish Reciprocity Conditions are as following:
- Existence of an agreement, on a reciprocal basis between the Republic of Turkey and the state where the court decision is given
- A provision of law enabling the authorization of the execution of final decisions given by a Turkish court in that state,
- De facto practice enabling the authorization of the execution of final decisions given by a Turkish court in that state,
In case one of these conditions is existing and if one of them will be proved in the lawsuit, then there will be no problem regarding the reciprocity issue.
Reciprocity conditions are debatable. In that case, all cases must be examined based on their specific content.
Chapter II. Enforcement and Recognition of Decisions of Foreign Courts and Arbitral
Enforcement of Court decrees
(1) Enforcement of court decrees rendered by foreign courts in the course of civil lawsuits in Turkey which are final
pursuant to the law of that foreign state shall be subject to the enforcement decision of the competent Turkish court.
(2) Enforcement decision may also be requested with regard to judgments on personal rights stipulated in the court
decrees of foreign criminal courts.
Jurisdiction and Competency
(1) The Courts of First Instance (3) shall have jurisdiction over enforcement decisions.
(2) These decisions shall be requested from the court at the place of habitual residence of the person against whom
enforcement is requested if he/she does have a domicile in Turkey, or from one of the courts in Istanbul, Ankara, or Izmir
if he/she does not have a domicile or habitual residence in Turkey.
Request for Enforcement of Court Decrees
(1) Anyone who has legal interest in enforcement of a decree can request so. Enforcement shall be requested by a
petition. Copies of the petition in the number of opposing parties shall be attached. The petition shall contain the
- a) The names, surnames, and addresses of the parties and their legal representatives, if any,
- b) The court of the state that has rendered the decree subject to the enforcement and the name of the court, the date
and number of the decree, and a summary of the judgment,
- c) If partial enforcement is sought, an indication as to which part of the decree is the subject of the request.
Documents to Be Attached to the Petition
(1) The following documents are to be attached to the petition:
- a) The original copy of the court decree certified by the authorities of the foreign state or an exemplar of the decree
certified by that organ of jurisdiction and a certified translation thereof,
- b) A document or written statement from the authorities of the state which officially confirms that the court decree is final
and a certified translation thereof.
Conditions of Enforcement
(1) The competent court shall render enforcement subject to the following conditions:
- a) Existence of an agreement, on a reciprocal basis between the Republic of Turkey and the state where the court
decision is given or a de facto practice or a provision of law enabling the authorization of the execution of final
decisions given by a Turkish court in that state,
- b) The judgment must have been given on matters not falling within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Turkish courts or, in
condition of being contested by the defendant, the judgment must not have been given by a state court which has
accepted himself competent even if there is not a real relation between the court and the subject or the parties of the
- c) The court decree shall not openly be contrary to public order,
- d) The person against whom enforcement is requested was not duly summoned pursuant to the laws of that foreign state
or to the court that has given the judgment, or was not represented before that court, or the court decree was not
pronounced in his/her absence or by a default judgment in a manner contrary to these laws, and the person has not
objected to the exequatur based on the foregoing grounds before the Turkish court,
Notification and Objection
(1) The petition for the request for enforcement shall be served upon the opposing party and shall contain the date of the
hearing. Recognition and enforcement of undisputed court decrees are also subject to the same provision. For
recognition of undisputed court decrees the provision of notification shall not be applied. The request is to be reviewed
and resolved by the court in accordance with the provisions of simple trial procedure.
(2) The opposing party may only raise objection by claiming that the enforcement conditions under the provisions of this
chapter are not present or that the foreign court decree was partially or wholly executed or a reason hindering the
enforcement has arisen.
(1) The court may decide for full or partial enforcement of the foreign court decree or may dismiss the request. This
decision shall be written on the foreign court decision and signed and sealed by the judge.
Execution and Appeal
(1) Foreign court decrees for which enforcement is rendered shall be executed as court decrees rendered by the Turkish
(2) Court decrees regarding dismissal or acceptance of the enforcement request may be appealed pursuant to the
general provisions of the Civil Procedure Law. The appeal suspends the execution.
(1) A foreign court decree may serve as a definitive evidence or final judgment, provided that the court decides that the
foreign court decree fulfills the conditions of enforcement. Subparagraph (a) of Article 54 shall not apply to recognition.
(2) The same article shall apply to the recognition of undisputed court decrees.
(3) The same procedure shall apply in concluding an administrative transaction based on a foreign court decree.
Final Judgment and Definitive Evidence Effect
(1) A foreign court decree serve as a definitive evidence or final judgment from the time the foreign court judgment
Atty. Gokhan Cindemir graduated from Anatolian High School of Karadeniz Eregli, after his graduation he studied in Belgium with AFS intercultural exchange program. He obtained his law license degree from Marmara University of Law Faculty. During his university education, he participated in Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition on behalf of the Marmara University. After his admission to Istanbul Bar Association in 2009, he obtained master degree (LL.M) from Gent University / Belgium in the field of European and Comparative law. His master research was about Freedom of Establishment In Relation With Turkey and EEC in the frame of Ankara Agreement. He is specialized in International Private Law, European Law, Real Estate Law, Penal Law and Tort Law. He speaks fluent English and has good command of Dutch and French. He is also authorized as a solicitor, barrister.