2014 should see the establishment of a new Arbitration Center in Istanbul. A draft law establishing the Center was submitted to Parliament on 25 March 2013 and is currently in committee stage. If the process runs smoothly it should come into force on 1 April 2014.
The Center will have two separate Arbitration Courts to monitor arbitration proceedings, one each for domestic and for international disputes. The draft law provides that the Center must determine its rules of arbitration as well as other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms within six months of the law’s enactment.
Turkey’s High Planning Council has approved the initiative as part of a strategic plan for an Istanbul International Financial Center. It sees the establishment of an “independent and autonomous institutional arbitration centre capable of competing internationally with respect to cost, speed and effectiveness” as a priority.
There has been a significant growth in the number of international arbitrations involving Turkish entities over the last two decades. Nearly 10% of the 793 new claims referred to ICC arbitration in 2010 involved at least one Turkish party. Turkey’s International Arbitration Law – substantially based on the UNCITRAL Model Law – has been in force since 2001.
For a fuller report of this law and of other recent arbitration developments in Turkey see Kolcuoğlu Demirkan’s 2013 e-Bulletin ‘Arbitration Law in Turkey’.