Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Arbitration has become a must-have condition for doing business

24.01.2020 / Ankara

The Union of Chambers and Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) President and the ICC Turkey National Committee Chairman M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, who attended the 15th ICC Turkey Arbitration Day meeting, said arbitration is now a must for doing business.​

The 15th ICC Turkey Arbitration Day meeting was held in Istanbul by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration, the ICC Turkey National Committee and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB)

TOBB President and the Turkey ICC National Committee Chairman M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu noted that the ICC is the largest business organization working to increase trade and investments in the world, founded by a group of entrepreneurs with the slogan ‘merchants of peace’ following the First World War.

- The importance of the ICC

Hisarcıklıoğlu noted that the ICC has established many different formations for the development of global trade since its inception, and that the ICC has over time gathered private sector representatives from different countries under one roof, becoming a reference institution for increasing trade in the world, removing trade barriers and resolving trade disputes.

Hisarcıklıoğlu said that the ICC, which has behind it 100 years of success, has renewed its mission in the 21st century as ‘a business world for all, working every day and everywhere,’ and that the ICC International Court of Arbitration was one of the most important services of the ICC.

Hisarcıklıoğlu noted the importance of the development of arbitration issues in Turkey, noting:

“As someone who's been through arbitration, I'd like to say. Foreign direct capital investment, which used to come to Turkey, would not exceed $1 billion a year. Then our government added arbitration to our national legislation. As a result of this, Turkey's appeal for investors has increased. The incoming foreign direct capital investment has risen to an average of $10 billion annually. It is clear that arbitration is a very important issue for the business community.

As business people, we want to be assured when we establish our business contacts. Because trading and investing means taking risks. When you do that in another country, the risk grows even greater. Because every country has different legislations, different practices. Investors can't know all of this. This reduces the appetite for trade and investment. An impartial, objective, respectable, with rules clearly set from the beginning, the presence of an executive authority protects all parties in the event of a conflict. It makes the country more attractive to business people. Therefore, arbitration has now become one of the essential conditions of doing business.”

Reporting that, today, in developed economies, 75% of commercial disputes are resolved by alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration, Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that only 1 out of 4 disputes necessitate standard judiciary procedure.

- “We are one of the top 10 countries using ICC Arbitration”

Hisarcıklıoğlu stressed that Turkey is an important country for ICC arbitration, and concluded:

“In 2019, we were one of the top 10 countries which used ICC Arbitration.  We have a request for the Secretary General, Mr. Fessas. There is a very well-trained, experienced and high quality legal community in Turkey.  Since we are such a good customer of ICC arbitration, then we expect the ICC to give more room to our country's lawyers in referee appointments. Finally, I would like to forward a request to our Deputy Minister of Justice; There is also a lot of work in the courts to qualify Turkey as an arbitration-friendly country.  Both in terms of assistance to arbitral committees during the arbitration proceedings and in terms of the ref's judgment. We expect the positive contributions and constructive attitudes of the District Courts and the Supreme Court on this issue. We, as TOBB, will continue to work to make our arbitration known and spread.”

- Deputy Minister of Justice Zekeriya Birkan

Deputy Minister of Justice Zekeriya Birkan, said that the government and the Ministry of Justice also support alternative dispute resolution methods in labor law, “It is a fact that it is no longer possible for us to solve these problems with classical proceedings as they are.”

Birkan mentioned the work done in Turkey on arbitration, said:

“It is a fact that it is no longer possible for us to solve these problems with classical proceedings as they are. We're building almost the world's largest courthouses in Europe. We are, but in our meetings, we see that these buildings are not enough, we are short of judges, prosecutors, officers, and we try to complete them. But we realized that, especially as the Department of Justice, we have supported alternative solutions in recent years at the core of our legal policies. In this regard, our biggest working partners with us are our bar associations and chambers union. In other words, our industrialists, trade men and our lawyers are trying to find solutions to these problems together by developing alternative solutions.”

- Turkish Bar Association President Atty. Prof. Dr. Metin Feyzioğlu

Atty. Prof. Dr. Metin Feyzioğlu, President of the Turkish Bar Association (TBB), also noted the importance of peace in order to have a healthy trade.

Stating that trade is the insurance of peace, Feyzioğlu said:

“The miraculous solution revealed by the common mind of humanity is to secure trade. That's what ancient tradition taught us. We are heirs to the land that is the cradle of trade. Trade came out of this land, arbitration came out of this land. Roman law came out of this land. Recent scientific research on this subject has proven to us that the ancient source of Roman law is the Anatolian territory.”

- ICC International Court of Arbitration Secretary General Alexander Fessas

Alexander Fessas, Secretary General of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, said the arbitration courts are among the first places sought out for resolution.

Noting that even corruption-related issues are first referred to arbitration courts, Fessas noted, “Human rights violations are also referred to arbitration courts. Even environmental disputes, such as carbon change, go into arbitration. International arbitration has become a self-regulating autonomous system. The ICC plays a crucial role in facilitating global trade. International arbitration organizations form the backbone of these systems.”

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