There are two main frameworks to start debt collection proceedings in Turkey: enforcement proceedings without a court judgment (ilamsız icra takibi)
and enforcement proceedings with a court judgment (ilamlı icra takibi).
This article examines Turkey's debt collection system and answers the question on how to collect a debt owed to you in Turkey.A. Enforcement Proceedings without a Court Judgment
There are three methods of enforcement proceedings:
- General seizure enforcement proceedings (genel haciz yoluya takip),
- Enforcement in particular to bonds (kambiyo senedine özgü takip yolu) and
- Eviction of rented immovable properties enforcement (kiralanan taşınmazların ilamsız icra yolu ile tahliyesi)
For the purposes of this article, we will be focusing more on the general enforcement proceedings in detail.
The creditor submits a "debt collection request" (takip talebi)
to the relevant debt execution office (residence location of the debtor). Upon 7 days' written notice for payment of debt, the debtor may object to the payment order by:
- Objecting the signature (imzaya itiraz): if the debt is established by a deed and the debtor claims that the signature on the deed is does not belong to him (in other words, forged/fraudulent), he may submit an objection to the Debt Execution Office by contesting the signature on that deed.
- Objecting the debt (borca itiraz): if the debtor claims he does not owe a part of the relevant debt or the debt itself entirely or he claims that the creditor does not have the authority to request debt collection against him, he may submit an objection to the Debt Execution Office and contest the debt.
- Objecting the authority (yetkiye itiraz): if the debtor believes that the debt execution office, which initiated the debt collection process, does not have the authority to execute the debt enforcement then the debtor may object to that debt enforcement office for not having the authority to do so.
In the event of the debtor objecting to the payment order (ödeme emri)
, the execution proceedings will stop. Therefore, in order to enforce the continuity of the execution proceedings and to nullify the objection decision, the creditor may file either: an action for the revocation of the objection (itirazın iptali davası)
or, an action for the abolition of the objection (itirazın kaldırılması davası).
Action for the revocation of the objection is a type of lawsuit which can be applied for at the enforcement court by the creditor within 1 year after the debtor's objection to the debt collection. The legal characteristic (nature) of this type of case is enforcing action for performance.
If the creditor wins this case
and the revocation of the objection approved, the enforcement of the debt collection becomes final and the creditor may continue the debt enforcement proceedings as if the debtor never objected to the debt collection in the first place. In this case, the debtor will receive a penalty to pay compensation for repudiation (icra inkar tazminatı)
which will be minimum 20% of the total debt amount and the court costs and expenses the creditor has spent (including the attorney fees).