Article: How does an appeal work in Turkey - Criminal Law

Author: Berk Çektir  Full Profile here

16 November 2015

The plan was to write about the criminal law-related appeals process. However, there is one important matter that we need to cover before we proceed. It is important to know how the local court decision is executed and how a defendant can stop the process of appeal, which applies both to civil and criminal litigation in Turkey.

 Under Turkish law, a court decision is only finalized after the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeals if the local court's decision is appealed by one or more of the parties. However, again under the very same Turkish law (there are a few exceptions that apply) in most proceedings, the claimant does not have to wait for the finalizing of the process of the supreme court in order to execute the decision made by the local court. In other words, the defendant cannot stop the execution of proceedings by appealing a court decision. It seems like a contradiction, and it is indeed one. The lawmaker sees this concept as a way to accelerate justice. In cases where the local court decision is revoked by the supreme court, this concept heavily impacts the defendant. But the big question is still there. When there is a court decision which is not finalized but somehow can be executed, which means that the claimant collects all the money or liquidated assets of the defendant, what happens if the Supreme Court of Appeals overturns the decision of the local court. How is the defendant protected against this risk?

How to secure your assets or your freedom in the case of the local court making a decision which you believe will be revoked by the supreme appeals court.
How do you stop a local court order being executed during the appeals stage
The defendant can stop the local court's decision being executed and keep the proceedings of execution pending without any action until the local court decision is finalized by the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeals. This process is called the postponement of execution (or delay of execution) proceedings. The defendant must include this request in the statements that are submitted to the court when appealing the local court decision.

In this case, the local court decision cannot be executed until the decision concerning the local court decision is made by the supreme court.

In civil litigation, following this request of postponing the execution of the local court decision, the sum -- which is usually the amount in dispute and whatever is added to it by the court, such as interest or penalties -- determined by the local court decision or a bank guarantee letter covering that amount must be given to the clerk's office. In the event of the decision of the local court being overturned, then the defendant can get back the deposited amount or the bank guarantee letter. Otherwise, if the local court decision is found to be correct and is not changed, the claimant can liquidate the bank guarantee letter or withdraw the cash amount deposited with the court clerk's office.

Disclaimer: this article was accurate at the time of publication (16th November 2015). Before relying on its contents, consult a legal advisor for any relevant updates and applicability to your interests.

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