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Recognition of foreign judgment and “public policy” requirement

Do you have court order from court of your country that you wish to seek recognition of it in Turkey, but you are concerned that it might not be recognized, because it does not contain the grounds on which the decision is built? Well, here is the good news!

Let’s say, you are a foreigner who was married to a Turkish citizen once who you have divorced short while ago by a court in your own country and now you wish to get this order be recognized by the Turkish courts so you can truly be free.

For recognition of a foreign court order in Turkey, the Turkish law sets out some certain requirements to be complied. One of these requirements is that the judgment that is sought to be recognized shall not be contrary to the public policy. According to the article 54(1) of Turkish International Private and Procedure Law 5718 the court shall not recognize a foreign court order if it is explicitly incompatible with Turkish public policy. Since the public policy requirement for recognition of a foreign judgment is common and is adopted by most of the jurisdictions, nothing may seem strange to you up until here. You will be surprised to hear that, when you sought the recognition of your court order in Turkey before February 2012, you could have been turned down by a Turkish court on the ground of public policy. You now started wondering how recognition of a foreign court order for divorcing a married couple is contrary to Turkish public policy.

Well, here is how.

Before February 2012, some of the courts used to deny recognition of a foreign court order if such court order did not contain the grounds on which its judge established his decision on the ground that if such court order was recognized it would be contrary to the Turkish public policy. There had been two different approaches of different circuits of the Court of Appeals towards this issue. While some circuits of the Court of Appeal were in favour of recognition of foreign judgments regardless of whether they contained grounds for decision made, others opted for refusal of recognition on the public policy ground. There were two different decisions by different circuits of the Court of Appeal in conflict.

What happens now?

General Assembly of the Court of Cassation to the rescue!

General Assembly of the Court of Cassation is an ad-hoc body that is convened only in when one supreme court intends to diverge from another supreme court’s legal opinion to apply a uniform interpretation and implementation of the law. On February 10, 2012 the General Assembly of Court of Cassation reviewed this issue and held that, the only instrument that will provide ground for the court to reject enforcement (recognition) of a foreign judgment is the existence of a contradiction between the foreign judgment and the public policy. However, in terms of the enforcement (recognition), the matter of grounds that the foreign judgment built on is not relevant.

Good news!

From that day forward, the lack of grounds in a foreign judgment has not been standing on the way for recognition of a foreign judgment. That means for you is now you will be able to seek recognition of your court’s order in Turkey, without worrying, even your court order does not contain the grounds.
Hope you have enjoyed reading this article.

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