Legal Alert on the Suspension of the Limitation and Prescription Periods and the Postponement of Hearings and Negotiations due to the COVID-19 Outbreak

Within the scope of the measures taken during the COVID-19 epidemic period, to suspend certain limitation and prescription periods and to postpone hearings and negotiations has been decided as per the Provisional Article 1 of the Law no. 7226 on the Amendment of Certain Laws (the “Omnibus Bill”) published in the Official Gazette no. 31080 dated 26/3/2020.

The regulations introduced under the Omnibus Bill and the exceptions to those regulations are as follows:
1. All periods related to the arising, exercise or expiry of a right, including periods for filing of actions, initiation of enforcement proceedings, applications, complaints, objections, notices, notifications, submission and periods of limitations, periods of prescription and compulsory administrative application periods; the periods set forth for the parties under the Administrative Procedure Act no. 2577 dated 6/1/1982, the Code of Criminal Procedure no. 5271 dated 4/12/2004 and the Code of Civil Procedure no. 6100 dated 12/1/2011 as well as other laws containing procedural provisions, and the periods ruled by the judge in this extent; and the periods in the institutions of mediation and conciliation are suspended starting from 13/3/2020 (included) until 30/4/2020 (included).
2. The periods set forth under the Enforcement and Bankruptcy Law no. 2004 dated 9/6/1932 as well as the periods set forth under other laws related to the enforcement law and those ruled by the judge or enforcement and bankruptcy offices in this extent; all enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings, -save for enforcement proceedings related to alimony receivables- , the procedures related to parties and proceedings, the admission of new claims for enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings, and the procedures related to enforcement and execution of precautionary attachment decisions are suspended starting from 22/3/2020 (included) until 30/4/2020 (included).
3. The periods of limitation stipulated under the laws for crimes and punishment, misdemeanour and administrative sanction and disciplinary detention and preventive detention, the periods related to the protection measures as stipulated under the Code of Criminal Procedure no. 5271, and the periods related to complementary procedures for precautionary injunctions as stipulated under the Code of Civil Procedure no. 6100 are out of the scope of this stipulation.
4. If the auction dates declared by the enforcement and bankruptcy offices with respect to property or rights fall within the suspension period, enforcement and bankruptcy offices shall designate a new auction date falling after the expiry of suspension for such property or rights without seeking any further request. In this case, the auction announcement shall made only on electronic platform, and no fee shall be collected for the announcement.
5. Payments made consentingly within the suspension period shall be accepted, and one of the parties may request the performance of the procedures which are favourable for the other party.
6. The effects of the time granted for composition with creditors (konkordato) on creditors and debtors shall continue during the suspension period.
7. Other measures necessary to prevent the interruption of the enforcement and bankruptcy services shall be taken.
8. The suspended periods shall start to run as from the date following the expiry of such suspension. The periods, which have fifteen or less days to expire until the starting date of the suspension, are deemed extended for fifteen days starting as from the date following the expiry of the suspension. If the epidemic continues, then the President may extend the suspension for once, which extension shall be no longer than six months, and narrow down the scope of the suspension. The decisions in this respect shall be published in the Official Gazette.
9. All other measures required to be taken, including the postponement of hearings and negotiations during the suspension period, and the principles and procedures related thereto shall be set forth (i) by the relevant Board of Presidents in terms of the Supreme Court and the Council of State, (ii) by the Council of Judges and Prosecutors in terms of the first-degree judicial and administrative justice bodies and the regional courts of justice and regional administrative courts, (iii) by the Ministry of Justice in terms of the services of justice.

This note is intended for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a source of legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought before taking any action based on information contained within this note for each particular case.