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A Legal Framework Analysis on the Legal Relationships due to the Corona Virus (Covid-19) Outbreak

2020, Erdemir&Özmen Attorney Partnership

A Legal Framework Analysis on the Legal Relationships due to the Corona Virus (Covid-19) Outbreak

Due to the corona virus (Covid-19) which caused a worldwide epidemic, the public has been warned not to go out on the streets in many countries, including our country, and access to certain areas have been restricted and even certain businesses have been closed in this period.

This newsletter has been issued in order to furnish information about the measures that have been taken and the legal risks that may be encountered during the outbreak within the framework of the current situation. 

1.    MEASURES TAKEN DUE TO THE OUTBREAK

The warnings frequently made and the precautions frequently taken by public authorities should be adopted by all sectors that have any contact with individuals. It is aimed to protect the public health which is one of the most fundamental constitutional rights and not to undermine the reliability of many sectors on the part of the public, by supporting the measures taken in this direction.

Currently, there are certain workplaces whose activities are suspended by the State, and the curfew is in effect for the persons over 65 years of age and for the persons with a chronic disease. The details are as follows:

  • Pursuant to the additional notice sent by the Ministry of Interior to the Offices of Provincial Governors, it is ordered that, in the 81 provinces, the activities of theaters, cinemas, performance centers, concert halls, engagement/wedding-ceremony halls, restaurants/cafés with live performance/music, casinos, pubs, taverns, coffee houses, coffee shops, cafeterias, countryside gardens, waterpipe lounges, waterpipe cafés, internet cafés, all kinds of video game arcades, all kinds of indoor playgrounds for children (including shopping malls and restaurants), tea gardens, clubhouses, amusement parks, swimming pools, Turkish baths, saunas, thermal springs, massage parlors, SPAs and sports centers be temporarily suspended as of 24:00 on 16.03.2020 [1].
  • Pursuant to another additional notice sent by the Ministry of Interior to the Offices of Provincial Governors, it is stated that, in the 81 provinces, as of 24:00 PM on 21.03.2020, all diners and restaurants serving and/or not serving alcoholic beverages, as well as pastry shops and patisseries and similar workplaces shall serve only in takeaway capacity, perform only delivery services or operate in a similar way, without allowing their customers to eat and/or drink there and that the diners/restaurants, pastry shops, patisseries and similar workplaces shall therefore be ensured to remove the tables [2].
  • Pursuant to another additional notice sent by the Ministry of Interior to the Offices of Provincial Governors, in the 81 provinces, the activities of barbers, hairdressers and beauty centers are temporarily suspended as of 18:00 on 21 March 2020, since the citizens come together collectively there and since physical contacts occur for many times in the course of the operations carried out there [3].
  • The citizens who are 65 years of age and over 65 years of age and who have a weak immune system and chronic lung disease, asthma, COPD, cardiovascular disease, kidney, hypertension, and liver disease, using drugs that disrupt the immune system are restricted from leaving their houses, walking in the parks, open areas and traveling by public transportation and are not allowed to go out on the streets after 24:00 on 21 March 2020 [4]. Pursuant to an additional notice complementary to this prohibition, exceptions are brought to the scope of the prohibition/restriction orders by the governors/district governors to healthcare professionals and particularly doctors as well as mayors, provincial directors, social service institutions officers, public servants/public service providers and pharmacists, etc., with the exception of cancer patients and organ transplants, whose services will be needed to ensure the continuity of public services, by the nature of the public services they carry out and due to the urgency in the current situation [5].

We would like to state that it should be taken into consideration that new measures may be taken due to the outbreak which increases its effect day by day.

The following are the other measures taken and the other arrangements made up to the present under the Presidential Circulars and Decrees published in the Official Gazette and entered into force:

  • It is decreed that “Flexible working methods, such as remote working, working on a rotational basis, may apply to the employees at public institutions and organizations. The top executives are authorized to determine such method. Those who work on a rotational basis within this scope shall be deemed to be on administrative leave during the period that they are actually absent at their public institutions or organizations; and during this period, these persons shall be deemed to have actually fulfilled their duties constituting the basis of their employment” [6].
  • It is decreed that all enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings being conducted across the Country, with the exclusion of the enforcement proceedings for alimony receivables, are hereby suspended as of 21.03.2020 until 30.04.2020 and that, within this framework, the party and enforcement transactions shall not be carried out and requests for new enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings shall not be received and provisional attachment decisions shall not be enforced and executed as of 21.03.2020 until 30.04.2020 [7].
  • It is considered appropriate to postpone, by the end of April, all kinds of scientific, cultural, artistic and similar meetings and activities that will be organized in national and international levels in indoor or outdoor areas [8].

Currently, other than the closure of certain spaces and the restriction of various services, no decree totally relating to the Country has been published due to the corona virus (Covid-19) outbreak in our Country. The process is conducted by means of the notices published within the framework of the universal and constitutional right to health and by means of the cover letters sent and the orders and decrees issued by the public authorities. However, in case the risks increase and if particularly a curfew comes into question, there will be no legal obstacle against the declaration of a State of Emergency (SoE) [9] by the President of the Republic. 

There is no doubt that the outbreak will also have impacts in economic terms. Within this context, the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared the package named “Economic Stability Shield” as follows, in his speech dated 18.03.2020 (cited from the speech):

1- “We hereby postpone, for 6 months, the April, May and June payments pertaining to the Concise and VAT withholding and the SSI premiums for Retail, Shopping Mall, Iron-Steel, Automotive, Logistics-Transportation, Cinema-Theater, Accommodation, Food-Beverage, Textile-Garment and Event-Organization sectors.

2- We will not apply accommodation tax until November.

3- We have postponed, for a period of 6 months, the payments of the revenue shares and the rights of servitude related to hotel rentals for April, May, and June.

4- We reduce the VAT rate from 18 percent to 1 percent for a period of 3 months in domestic airline transportation.

5- As regards the firms whose cash flows deteriorate since they are affected by the measures related to the COVID-19 outbreak; we will defer, for minimum 3 months, these firms’ loan principal and interest repayments to banks, and we will provide additional financing support to these firms when necessary.

6- We will provide stock financing support to exporters for the purpose of maintaining the capacity utilization rates during the temporary slowdown period in exportation.

7- As regards the artisans and craftsmen who make the request declaring that their businesses are affected negatively in this period; we will defer, for a period of 3 months and on an interest-free basis, the April, May and June principal and interest repayments pertaining to these artisans’ and craftsmen’s loan debts to Halkbank.

8- We will increase the Credit Guarantee Fund limit from 25 billion Turkish Liras to 50 billion Turkish Liras; and in loans, we will give the priority to the firms and SMEs that have liquidity needs and collateral deficits since they are affected negatively by the developments.

9- We will encourage the relevant entities to put in place credit packages for social purposes under favorable and advantageous conditions for our citizens.

10- For the houses in the value of less than 500 thousand Turkish Liras, we will increase the credit viability from 80 percent to 90 percent and we will reduce the minimum down payment to 10 percent.

11- We will ensure that the annotation “force majeure” is put onto the credit registry records pertaining to the firms that have lapsed into default in April, May and June by the effect of the measures taken against the spread of the virus.

12- We defer, for 3 months, the durations of the concise declarations including the payments of the deductions made at the source such as withholding.

13- We will continue the minimum wage support.

14- We will ensure that the flexible and remote working models in our legislation are made more effective.

15- We will put the Short-Time Working Allowance into operation and we will facilitate and accelerate the processes necessary to benefit therefrom. Thus, while providing a temporary income support to the laborers at the workplaces that have suspended their activities, we will also reduce the cost on the part of employers.

16- We increase the lowest pension to 1,500.00 Turkish Liras.

17- We will pay the pensioners’ holiday bonuses at the beginning of April. Furthermore, we will ensure that our pensioners’ retirement promotion payments are directly deposited into their accounts, without having to go to the bank branches.

18- We allocate an additional resource in the amount of 2 billion Turkish Liras for the cash aids that will be provided to the needy families as per the criteria determined by our Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services.

19- In order to ensure continuity in employment, we increase the 2 months’ compensatory working period to 4 months.

20- Against the possibility of disruption in global supply chains, we will develop alternative channels as per the priorities we determine in both production and retail as well. 

21- For our elderly people over 80 years of age who live alone, we put into operation a periodic follow-up program comprised of social services and home healthcare services.”

Accordingly, situation assessments have also been carried out by various sectors. The approaches from certain sectors that are most affected by the current situation are described in detail below.

2. LEGAL FRAMEWORK OF THE CURRENT SITUATION

The World Health Organization (WHO) has decided to characterize the corona virus (Covid-19) as a “pandemic”, since it bears all the relevant conditions i.e. the emergence of such a disease to which the population has not previously been exposed, the transmission of the disease-causing factor to individuals, which results in a dangerous disease, and the spread of the disease easily and continuously among individuals. This characterization represents a call aimed to emphasize officially the danger of the virus and to ensure international solidarity. The current situation, which is assessed as an “International health emergency”, imposes responsibilities on each country.

Currently, other than the closure of certain spaces, the restriction of various services and the curfew for people over 65 years of age and with chronic illnesses, no decree totally relating to the Country has been published due to the corona virus (Covid-19) outbreak in our Country. The process is conducted by means of the notices published within the framework of the universal and constitutional right to health and by means of the cover letters sent and the orders and decrees issued by the public authorities. However, in case the risks increase and if particularly a curfew comes into question, there will be no legal obstacle against the declaration of a State of Emergency (SoE) [10] by the President of the Republic.

As stated above, there are some risks that every sector faces in terms of the measures taken and the effects of the current situation. In addition to compliance with the rules determined in line with the precautions and measures taken, the dangers that may arise in terms of economy are also on the agenda. The lease relationships and contracts in general, which constitute the greatest legal risk in this regard, are evaluated in this newsletter under the legislation in force.

2.1. General Legal Analysis in Terms of Agreements

In this course, the fate of the obligor-obligee relationships and particularly of service and lease agreements, constitutes a major legal debate. Pursuant to our legislation, as explained in detail below, certain legal concepts may appear in terms of the effects of the outbreak on obligor-obligee relationships.

A. IMPOSSIBILITY OF PERFORMANCE

Of these concepts, “impossibility of performance” constitutes the first legal concept. Impossibility of performance is regulated by the articles 136 and 137 of the Turkish Obligations Code dated 11/01/2011 numbered 6098 (the “TOC”). Accordingly, the obligation shall terminate if it becomes impossible to perform the obligation due to the reasons for which the obligor cannot be held responsible.

If performance of the obligation becomes impossible partly due to the reasons for which the obligor cannot be held responsible, the obligor will be relieved of only the part that becomes impossible. However, the obligation shall terminate entirely in case it is clearly understood that such an agreement would not have been concluded by the parties if this partial impossibility of performance had been foreseen in advance by the parties. 

In this regard, the fundamental matter necessary to be analyzed in terms of agreements is to what extent the obligor will be able fulfill his obligations and to what extent the obligor will not be able to fulfill his obligations, due to the corona virus outbreak. The obligor’s inability to perform a part of his obligation does not mean that the obligor is relieved of the entire obligation. The obligor may be relieved of his obligation, only for the part whose fulfillment becomes impossible. In case the agreement contains mutual obligations, the circumstance varies depending on whether the obligee accepts this partial performance. If the obligee accepts the partly fulfillment of the obligation, the obligee will fulfill his obligations in proportion to this partly fulfillment. In the case that the obligee does not accept the partial performance or that the obligation is an indivisible one, the fulfillment of the agreement is deemed to have become impossible entirely.  

The entire obligation will terminate only if the contractual obligations have become entirely impossible. The matter “to what extent the obligations become impossible” should be investigated separately depending on the contractual terms and conditions and the concrete circumstances, for each obligation. 

The impossibility may result from a factual cause or a legal cause [11]. For the current situation, while the concrete impacts of the outbreak directly on the business life may become a current issue as a factual cause, the restriction or suspension of the obligor’s activities by a decree issued or a legal transaction carried out due to the outbreak may be indicated as a legal cause.

If the impossibility is temporary, the matter of whether the obligation will terminate should be determined depending on whether the postponement of the date of performance until the impossibility ceases to exist will conform to the joint wills of the parties. In such case, the matter of whether the obligation will terminate may be determined by the mutual wills of the parties.

The assessment of whether or not the obligor has a fault in the occurrence of the impossibility constitutes another significant matter. For the current situation, of course, the corona virus outbreak is not due to the obligors’ fault; however, if the obligor fails to perform his own obligations through his fault although he has the ability to perform his obligations in spite of the outbreak, the obligee shall have the right to claim compensation for his losses in this context. The matter of whether the obligation terminates is controversial on the part of the legal opinions.

On the other hand, if the obligor does not, without delay, notify to the obligee that the obligation has become impossible and if the obligor does not take the measures necessary for the loss not to increase, the obligor shall be obligated to compensate the losses arising therefrom.

B. FORCE MAJEURE

The situations, to which impossibility of performance applies generally, are called “force majeure” in practice. In a binding decision of the Supreme Court of Appeals, force majeure is defined as: “An extraordinary event that leads to absolutely and unavoidably violation of the incumbent’s or the obligor’s activity or breach of the obligation, which cannot be foreseen and resisted”, and epidemic/pandemic diseases are considered as force majeure [12]. After this binding decision, it is observed that many Supreme Court decisions also consider epidemic/pandemic disease as force majeure.

Even though the legislation does not expressly regulate the concept “force majeure”, this concept is described by established jurisprudences and in academic publications. In the same decision referred to above, force majeure is described as follows [13]:

“Force majeure is an extraordinary event that occurs beyond the incumbent’s or the obligor’s activity and business and leads to absolutely and unavoidably violation of a general behavioral norm or breach of the obligation, which cannot be foreseen and resisted (Eren, F.: Borçlar Hukuku Genel Hükümler (The Law of Obligations, General Provisions), Ankara 2017, pg. 582 ). Natural disasters such as earthquake, flood, fire or epidemic/pandemic disease are considered as force majeure.

As can be seen from the above description, the legal concept force majeure has a number of components. First of all, force majeure is a compelling event. Such event may either be a natural, a social or a legal occurrence or a human occurrence related to individuals. Such event should be an occurrence remaining outside the activity or business of the one causing the loss or damage. Due to the force majeure, the one causing the loss or damage must have violated a behavioral norm or a contractual obligation. Furthermore, force majeure should be the cause of the violation of the behavioral norm or the breach of the obligation and must have led to this consequence unavoidably. The concept “unavoidability” also includes the concepts “irresistibility” and “inevitability” against force majeure. Unpredictability constitutes another component of force majeure.”

In addition, pursuant to the paragraph 3 of the “Force Majeure and Hardship Clause” published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in 2003, epidemic diseases are considered as force majeure: “Act of God, plague, epidemic, natural disaster such as but not limited to violent storm, cyclone, typhoon, hurricane, tornado, blizzard, earthquake, volcanic activity, landslide, tidal wave, tsunami, flood, damage or destruction by lightning, drought; the emergence of which cannot be foreseen.”

Accordingly, pursuant to the general acceptance, it is possible to list the conditions of force majeure as follows:

1. Force majeure should not occur due to fault of the party that asserts force majeure

2. Force majeure should impede fulfilment of the obligation undertaken

3. The party that asserts force majeure does not have the capability to eliminate this obstacle

4. The force majeure justification that will be asserted should be found adequate depending on the conditions of the concrete case.

However, in spite of all, it was also observed that the Supreme Court established different verdicts. In a decision rendered by the Supreme Court of Appeals against a defendant’s force majeure argument within the scope of a lawsuit heard between a hotel and an agency in the bird flu period, it was adjudged that force majeure did not occur on the ground that “the parties are merchants and that the impact of the occurrences is limited, and considering the agreement between the parties” [14].

Finally, when the current situation is considered within the context of the above explanations, we opine that the justification “the impact of the occurrences is limited” in relation to the bird flu should be assessed in terms of its impacts on each concrete case and each commercial relation. We are of the opinion that the justification “limited impact” is not acceptable for the corona virus outbreak and that there is a virus outbreak with a very high spreading speed against which widespread measures are taken all around the world, including our Country and that it is possible to consider epidemic/pandemic diseases as force majeure pursuant to the binding decision rendered by the Assembly of Civil Chambers of the Supreme Court of Appeals.

Thus, in the statement made by the Ministry of Trade in relation to rescission of package tour agreements, the Esteemed Minister stated that the right to termination is granted due to the force majeure, for the tour agreements containing the countries in respect of which travel warning is made or to which flights are suspended [15]. Consequently, expectations have increased that the current situation can be accepted as force majeure.

C. EXTREME DIFFICULTY OF PERFORMANCE

It is possible to apply the “extreme difficulty of performance” provisions regulated by the article 138 of the TOC, if the performance of the obligation becomes extremely difficult due to the reasons for which the obligor is not responsible, although the fulfillment of the obligation does not become impossible. Accordingly; in the case that an extraordinary circumstance, which has not been foreseen and is not expected to be foreseen by the parties at the time of conclusion of the agreement, emerges for a reason not originating from the obligor and that such extraordinary circumstance changes the facts, existing at the time of conclusion of the agreement, to the detriment of the obligor in such a degree that the request for the performance from the obligor would run counter to the rules of objective good faith and further, in the case that the obligor has not performed his obligation yet or that the obligor has performed his obligation by reserving his rights arising from the extreme difficulty of performance, the obligor has the right to request the judge to adapt the agreement to the new conditions, or if this is not possible, the obligor has the right to rescission of the agreement. In the agreements containing continuing obligations, in principle, the obligor exercises his right to termination instead of his right to rescission.

In the preamble of the statutory provision referred to above, the conditions for extreme difficulty of performance are listed as follows.

“The adaptation of an agreement to changing conditions or the exercise of the right to rescission is dependent on the coexistence of the following four conditions:

a. An extraordinary circumstance, which has not been foreseen and is not expected to be foreseen by the parties at the time of conclusion of the agreement, should emerge,

b. Such circumstance should not arise from the obligor,

c. Such circumstance should change the facts, existing at the time of conclusion of the agreement, to the detriment of the obligor in such a degree that the request for the performance from the obligor would run counter to the rules of objective good faith, 

d. It is necessary that the obligor has not performed his obligation yet or the obligor has performed his obligation by reserving his rights arising from the extreme difficulty of performance.”

For the applicability of the provisions regarding extreme difficulty of performance, there should be an extraordinary circumstance which cannot be foreseen and does not originate from the obligor. In this respect, it is possible to indicate the corona virus outbreak as an example for such an extraordinary circumstance. In case it becomes extremely difficult for the obligor to fulfill his obligation, the obligor has the right to apply to a court and request for adaptation of the agreement to the new conditions. If such adaptation is not possible, the agreement may be terminated.

The provision referred to above and the TOC article 480/2 regarding contracts of work expressly allow adaptation of the agreements and contracts due to extreme difficulty of performance. Besides, although there is no express provision in respect of adaptation; pursuant to the legislation, it is possible to terminate the agreements and contracts by the reason that a new circumstance, which emerges in lease agreements, ordinary partnership or service agreements, becomes unbearable for the parties to continue the relationship.

2.2. Legal Analysis in Terms of Lease Relationships and Loss of Turnover

As explained in detail above, extreme difficulty of performance should be addressed by analyzing the circumstances of each concrete case and the conditions specific to the relevant agreement, and it should be determined whether difficulty of performance emerges due to force majeure or whether the right to termination will be granted or the adaptation of the agreement will take place due to extreme difficulty of performance.

Lease agreements are one of the riskiest agreements due to the outbreak. In case lessees fail to fulfill the obligations arising from the agreement, impossibility of performance or difficulty of performance may come into question; the corona virus outbreak being experienced may be considered as force majeure. 

When the provisions specific to lease agreements are analyzed, it is observed that termination is possible due to extraordinary circumstances. As per the article 331 of the TOC, in the case of significant reasons making the survival of the lease relationship unbearable for the lessor and/or for the lessee, the lessor and/or the lessee has the right to terminate the agreement at any time by complying with the legal termination notice period. The Code does not expressly specify the scope of the concepts “unbearable” and “significant reason” referred to in the article. In case of a dispute, these concepts will be determined by the judge within the framework of principles of equity and the rules of objective good faith, through an analysis on the circumstances of that concrete case.

For extraordinary termination, it is necessary that a number of unforeseen causes emerge while performing a continuing obligor-obligee relationship and that the obligor-obligee relationship has therefore irretrievably broken down or changed in such a degree that the parties can no longer be expected to continue the relationship [16]. Hence, it is possible to make an interpretation that the outbreak can be considered as an extraordinary cause and that either party may therefore terminate the agreement. Nevertheless, even in this case, the extent of the unbearable circumstance and the matter of whether the parties have fault in the occurrence of this circumstance shall be assessed.

However, this provision shall not apply until 1/7/2020 for office/workplace leases of which the lessee is a merchant or a legal entity [17]. Since the date that above art. 331 of the TOC will start to apply is close, it should nevertheless be taken into consideration within the framework of the developing conditions.

Nonetheless, it should not be overlooked that the relevant party may request for adaptation of the lease agreement on the ground of difficulty of performance or the agreement may be terminated due to impossibility of performance by putting forward the assertion of force majeure as well as the TOC general provisions, the details of which are explained above.

In brief, the special circumstances should be analyzed for each lease relationship; and the questions, such as the following ones, should be answered:

a. Does it become difficult for the lessee to fulfill his obligations due the corona virus outbreak, and to what extent does it become difficult?

b. Does it become impossible for the lessee to fulfill his obligations due the corona virus outbreak?

c. What are the obligations that become difficult or impossible?

d. Does the lessee have a fault in the occurrence of this difficulty or impossibility?

e. Has the lessee taken the measures necessary for this circumstance not to occur? Has the lessee notified this circumstance to the lessor? If so, when has the lessee notified this circumstance to the lessor?

3. CONCLUSION

There is no doubt that the economy will be affected directly the challenging period being experienced. Since the public authorities have not yet introduced a restriction on payment and collection transactions, contractual provisions survive in the current situation.

As explained in detail above, service agreements should be interpreted depending on the extent to which the parties are able to fulfill their contractual obligations. Accordingly, it is possible to request adaptation or postponement for the agreements due to extreme difficulty of performance and it is also possible to terminate the agreements due to impossibility of performance.

For lease agreements, the rents may still continue to be collected through the methods already applicable. In office/workplace leases, it is possible to request adaptation for fixed rents and it is also possible to terminate the agreement. This risk is higher for the lease agreements concluded on turnover basis. Therefore, for the lessees from whom a turnover rent is collected, we recommend that supplementary protocols are signed and that a consensus is thus reached on a fixed rent. 

Even though most of the lease agreements with a high rent contain provisions that a reduction shall not be claimed due to changing economic conditions, the court may consider such provisions to be in violation of the principles of equity due to existence of an extraordinary circumstance and thus, the court may deem such provisions to be invalid.

In the light of the information we have provided in detail above, we would like to emphasize that the lessees or service providers and even in a number of scenarios, the service recipients may submit various requests under the assertion that the corona virus outbreak constitutes force majeure. Due to the corona virus outbreak, it is possible to encounter termination of the agreements or a request for adaptation of the agreements (particularly, a request for reduction) or it is possible for the public authorities to introduce regulatory measures or restrictions for commercial relations. Thus, the collection procedures may differ.

In addition to all the considerations referred to above, we would like to state that the negotiations with particularly service providers and lessees will considerably gain prominence in this period, provided that the course of the period is taken into account. 


References:

[1] https://www.icisleri.gov.tr/81-il-valiligine-koronavirus-tedbirleri-konulu-ek-genelge-gonderildi

[2] https://www.icisleri.gov.tr/koronavirus-salgini-ile-mucadele-kapsaminda-lokantalarla-ilgili-ek-genelge

[3] https://www.icisleri.gov.tr/bakanligimiz-81-il-valiligine-koronavirus-tedbirleri-konulu-ek-bir-genelge-daha-gonderdi 

[4] https://www.icisleri.gov.tr/65-yas-ve-ustu-ile-kronik-rahatsizligi-olanlara-sokaga-cikma-yasagi-genelgesi

[5] https://www.icisleri.gov.tr/65-yas-ve-ustu-ile-kronik-rahatsizligi-olanlara-sokaga-cikma-yasagi-ek-genelgesi

[6] https://www.resmigazete.gov.tr/eskiler/2020/03/20200322M1.pdf

[7] https://www.resmigazete.gov.tr/eskiler/2020/03/20200322-2.pdf

[8] https://www.resmigazete.gov.tr/eskiler/2020/03/20200320-18.pdf

[9] Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, art. 119/1: “In the event of war, the emergence of a situation necessitating war, mobilization, an uprising, strong rebellious actions against the motherland and the Republic, widespread acts of violence of internal or external origin threatening the indivisibility of the country and the nation, emergence of widespread acts of violence aimed at the destruction of the constitutional order or of fundamental rights and freedoms, serious deterioration of public order because of acts of violence, occurrence of natural disasters, outbreak of dangerous epidemic diseases or emergence of a serious economic crisis; the President of the Republic may declare state of emergency in one region or nationwide for a period not exceeding six months.”

[10] Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, art. 119/1: “In the event of war, the emergence of a situation necessitating war, mobilization, an uprising, strong rebellious actions against the motherland and the Republic, widespread acts of violence of internal or external origin threatening the indivisibility of the country and the nation, emergence of widespread acts of violence aimed at the destruction of the constitutional order or of fundamental rights and freedoms, serious deterioration of public order because of acts of violence, occurrence of natural disasters, outbreak of dangerous epidemic diseases or emergence of a serious economic crisis; the President of the Republic may declare state of emergency in one region or nationwide for a period not exceeding six months.”

[11] Prof. Dr. M. Kemal Oğuzman, Prof. Dr. Turgut Öz, “Borçlar Hukuku Genel Hükümler (The Law of Obligations, General Provisions)”, Volume-1, 11th Edition, March 2013, pg.568.

[12] The Assembly of Civil Chambers of the Supreme Court Appeals, the decision numbered 2017/11-90 E. 2018/1259 K. and dated 27.06.2018.

[13] The Assembly of Civil Chambers of the Supreme Court of Appeals, the decision numbered 2017/11-90 E. 2018/1259 K. and dated 27.06.2018.

[14] The 23rd Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals, the decision numbered 2015/7538 E. 2017/719 K. and dated 11.02.2016. 

[15] https://ticaret.gov.tr/haberler/bakan-pekcandan-koronavirus-nedeniyle-paket-tur-iptali-aciklamasi 

[16] ALTINOK ORMANCI Pınar: Sürekli Borç İlişkilerinin Haklı Sebeple Feshi (Termination of Continuing Obligor-Obligee Relationships for a Justifiable Reason), Doctoral Dissertation, Ankara 2011, pg.96.

[17] The LAW numbered 6353 ON MAKING AMENDMENTS TO CERTAIN LAWS AND DECREE LAWS “TEMPORARY ARTICLE 2 – In the office/workplace leases of which the lessee is one of the private law or public law legal entities or one of the persons listed as a merchant in the Turkish Commercial Code, the articles 323, 325, 331, 340, 342, 343, 344, 346 and 354 of the Turkish Obligations Code dated 11/1/2011 and numbered 6098 shall not apply for a period of 8 years as of 1/7/2012. In this case, the lease agreement provisions shall apply to the lease agreements by virtue of the freedom of contract in relation to the matters specified in these articles. The provisions of the repealed Code of Obligations shall apply to the cases for which there is no relevant provision in the lease agreements.”


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