Responding to the claim

Early steps available

What steps are open to a defendant in the early part of a case?

A defendant has to submit preliminary objections within the legal period for submitting a response to a petition. The preliminary objections are a jurisdiction plea, an objection to arbitration and an objection to the judicial division of work.

A defendant has right to bring a counterclaim within the legal period for submitting a response petition. If the defendant claims that a third party is liable for the claims, the defendant may request that the court announces the case to the relevant third party.

Defence structure

How are defences structured, and must they be served within any time limits? What documents need to be appended to the defence?

The response petition should include the same main facts (see question 17 for the required facts) as the claimant’s lawsuit petition. The defendant should submit its response petition together with its evidence list before the court within two weeks of receiving officially the lawsuit petition. If it is difficult or impossible to submit a response petition within this period, the defendant may request an extension of up to one month within the prescribed two-week period.

Changing defence

Under what circumstances may a defendant change a defence at a later stage in the proceedings?

According to the CCP, defendants have the right to change their defences without restriction before the completion of the exchange of petitions. After this period, defendants may change their defences only with the express assent of the counterparty.

A defendant also has the right to amend its defences one time before the end of the investigation process.

Sharing liability

How can a defendant establish the passing on or sharing of liability?

As mentioned in question 23, if a defendant claims that a third party is liable for the claims, he or she may request that the court announce the proceedings to the relevant third party. However, the announcement procedure would not make that third party a party to the case; nor would the judgment be enforceable against the third party. The announcement would only impact the defendant’s right of recourse against the third party within the scope of their internal affairs.

Avoiding trial

How can a defendant avoid trial?

A defendant can avoid trial by admitting the claim or making a settlement. A defendant can also avoid a court hearing by submitting an acceptable excuse (eg, health issues). In addition, a defendant can avoid proceedings by disputing the preliminary objections - for example, a jurisdiction plea, an objection to arbitration or an objection to the judicial division of work - which will be examined primarily by the court.

Case of no defence

What happens in the case of a no-show or if no defence is offered?

If a defendant has not submitted a response petition in due time, it will be deemed that all claims are denied. Therefore, the court may pursue judgment with regard to the claimant’s allegations. The defendant’s absence does not avoid the pursuit of a judgment.

Claiming security

Can a defendant claim security for costs? If so, what form of security can be provided?

According to article 48 of the IPCPL, foreign individuals or legal persons who file a lawsuit, intervene in a lawsuit or initiate execution proceedings before a Turkish court shall be required to provide security, the amount of which shall be determined by the court in order to cover the expenses of the legal procedures and proceedings, as well as losses or damages of a party. However the court may exempt the plaintiff in execution proceedings from providing security on a reciprocity basis. Turkey is a contracting state of the Hague Convention of Civil Procedure of 1954, which regulates exemptions for bond payment between contracting states. On the other hand, there are some international treaties and bilateral agreements between Turkey and other states for the avoidance of bond payments; therefore, if a foreigner is a citizen of such state, he or she may be exempted from the said security. Security payments can be provided in cash or as a bank letter of guarantee.