The Council of Europe is conducting a detailed needs assessment analysis and expert review of the legal framework in Turkey and European best practices in the field of mediation in civil and commercial disputes. Within the scope of this exercise, an overall evaluation of the application of arbitration will be also conducted.
The first field assessment visit and meeting took place on 11-12 October 2021 at the Istanbul Bakırköy courthouse and Sheraton Istanbul Ataköy Hotel in the framework of the EU-CoE Joint Project on “Promoting Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Turkey”. The meeting was held with the attendance of approximately 40 participants, including representatives of the Ministry of Justice , judges from family courts and civil courts of peace, representatives of Istanbul Bar Association, Istanbul Mediation Association, Istanbul Arbitration Centre, Arbitration and Mediation Centre of Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, Istanbul Mediation Volunteers Association, mediation bureaux staff and mediators, as well as the international and local CoE consultants, and staff members.
On the first day, a visit was conducted to the Istanbul Bakırköy courthouse with the aim to assess the needs of mediators, judges and other relevant stakeholders, as well as to review all aspects of the types of disputes that are subject to mediation.
International consultants, Nina Betetto and Maria Oliveira and local consultant, Mustafa Erkan, assessed the functioning of mandatory mediation in Turkey and presented EU best practices in the field. The team of consultants had the opportunity to discuss the views and the opinions of judges, mediators, and other relevant stakeholders.
On the second day, a meeting was held at Sheraton Istanbul Ataköy Hotel, where the conceptual framework and EU best practices regarding the legal status and institutionalisation of mediation centres were discussed, and stakeholders were invited to make their suggestions. In addition, the design and status quo of arbitration in Turkey, capacity building and awareness raising for arbitrators were also discussed with the relevant stakeholders.
The feedback received from the field visit and meeting will be included in the draft needs analysis report, which will contribute to the efforts in making the necessary legislative amendments that will enable the mediation institution to work more effectively.
The Joint Project on “Promoting Alternative Dispute Resolution in Turkey” is co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe. The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Turkey – Directorate General for Criminals Affairs and Directorate General for Legal Affairs are the end beneficiaries of the Project. The Central Finance and Contracts Unit is the contracting authority.