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Before going to court, you may attempt to find an amicable settlement to your dispute. In order to reach such an agreement, you can obtain help from a neutral and impartial professional, a mediator, who will endeavour to establish a dialogue between you and the party with whom you are in conflict so that you can reach an agreement yourselves. Mediation is not a trial process, but an alternative dispute resolution process without the use of any external decision-making power. The mediator does not pass judgment, but helps you to find a solution to your conflict. Mediation allows the parties to maintain the autonomy of their decisions and to build their solution together. At the end of the mediation process, if you have reached an agreement with the opposing party, your decision will have the force of a judgment and be legally enforceable. Mediation is confidential, faster, more flexible and less costly than the courts. The information and any documents provided by the parties during the mediation process remain strictly confidential. The parties cannot use any information or documents from the mediation process as evidence in a trial and cannot ask the mediator to be witness at a trial. Thus, the parties can seek a common solution by expressing, without concern or apprehension, their opinions.


Mediation has been applied in Turkey since its entry into force in 2013 of Law No. 6325 on Mediation. Law 6325 introduces voluntary mediation in civil disputes and regulates the enforceability of mediation settlement agreements. Mediation is possible in all areas in which parties have the free disposition of their rights. In late 2017, Turkey passed Law No. 7036 on Labour Courts, which require parties to apply mediation prior to their dispute being heard by a court. Law No. 7036 entered into force on 01.01.2018 and applies to a wide range of industrial disputes. As the number of employment disputes represents a significant proportion of civil disputes in Turkey, the introduction of compulsory mediation was a turning point as it compels many employees and employers (mainly businesses) to experience mediation for the first time. At the end of 2018, Law No. 7155 obliged parties to have recourse to mediation before bringing legal action in commercial courts. According to Article 5/A of the Turkish Commercial Code, prior to initiating legal action in the context of claims and indemnities which are among the commercial trials indicated in Article 4 of the Turkish Commercial Code and in other laws and whose object is the payment of a certain sum of money or compensation, the referral to a mediator is a prerequisite for any legal action. Law No. 7155 in commercial matters came into force on 01.01.2019. Although these laws require parties to participate in mediation before going to court, the parties may still have the right of refusal during the mediation process and may end the process at any time. Therefore, any settlement made is a voluntary action and not a legal obligation.

Belgin BULUT Mediator, registered in the Register of Mediators of the Ministry of Justice of Turkey

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