The Ministry of Justice recently announced that on July 20, 2016 the newly established regional courts (bölge adliye mahkemeleri) will begin hearing appeals, creating a two-level appellate court system consisting of regional courts and the existing Supreme Court (Yargıtay).
What the law says
While all first instance court decisions awarding or refusing to award amounts below TRY 1,500 (approximately USD 500) will remain final, the new regional courts will hear matters above this minimum statutory threshold. Matters exceeding the minimum statutory threshold for Supreme Court appeals of TRY 25,000 (approx. USD 8,400) will be appealable to the Supreme Court. These limits are expected to be adjusted annually.
Regional courts will also hear appeals from first instance court decisions such as those granting or denying requests for interim injunctions (ihtiyati tedbir) and attachments (ihtiyati haciz).
The Law on the Establishment of First Instance Courts and Regional Courts and the 2011 Civil Procedure Code had provided for the establishment of the regional courts, but specified that those provisions would not be operational until the Ministry of Justice made a formal announcement. The Ministry's announcement more than five years later means that the appellate rules of the Civil Procedure Code will finally become effective on July 20, 2016, with transitional exemptions for ongoing appeals.
We expect the new appellate system to reduce the Supreme Court's workload and increase the quality of appellate decisions. Company in-house counsel should be aware of the new system and new appellate rules that will enter into force on July 20, 2016.