The novel coronavirus (Covid-19 disease) is having a deep impact on commercial life and gives rise to significant risks and challenges for businesses from all sectors. Businesses must act promptly and implement effective measures to mitigate these risks and challenges.
Our “Covid-19 Insights” is designed to keep our clients abreast of the legal developments as regards Covid-19 and ease their decision-making processes. In this page, you will find our client alerts and articles regarding Covid-19, categorized based on legal subjects for ease of reference.
Banking and Finance
With the Presidential Decree numbered 3031 published in the Official Gazette dated 30 September 2020, the BITT rate is now reduced from 1% back to 0.2%, to be effective from the date of publication of the decree.
Corporate and Commercial
The restrictions on companies’ distribution of their profits have been lifted as of 1 January 2021. In other words, it is now possible for companies to distribute their previous year's profits and free reserves and to authorize their board of directors to distribute advance profits.
The Presidential Decree numbered 2948 published in the Official Gazette dated 18 September 2020 extended the term for the restrictions on the distribution of dividends from 30 September 2020 to 31 December 2020.
Effective from the date of publication of the decree, the BITT rate will be increased from 0.2% to 1%
Exceptions to restrictions on companies’ distribution of their net profits in 2019 was published in the Official Gazette on 17 May 2020 through the Communiqué on the Principles and Procedures of Implementation of the Temporary Article 13 of the Turkish Commercial Code and entered into force the same day.
The Omnibus Law provides for a temporary article to be inserted into the Turkish Commercial Code no. 6102, setting out restrictions on companies’ distribution of their net profits in 2019. Accordingly, cash profit distribution of companies cannot exceed 25% of their net profits belonging to 2019.
Legislative Proposal concerning the Law on Diminishing the Negative Impact of the Novel Coronavirus in Financial and Social Life and Amendment to Certain Laws is submitted to the Grand National Assembly as of 14 April 2020. Article 11 of the Legislative Proposal provides for a restriction on distribution of profits by companies in 2019.
Having identified that some of the data controllers have not been able to complete their registration with VERBIS (i.e. the data controllers’ registry) due to Covid-19 related reasons, the Personal Data Protection Board granted a de facto time extension to the data controllers for fulfilling their registration obligations. The decision no. 2020/760 and dated 1 September 2020 on the “extension” was announced on the Board’s website yesterday.
The Data Protection Board has announced that it has extended the deadline for registration with the Data Controllers’ Registry Information System (“VERBIS”) with its decision 2020/482.
The terms for termination prohibition and mandatory unpaid leave are extended for two months.
The government has extended the terms of short-term working and applications thereof.
The Presidential Decree numbered 3238 published in Official Gazette dated 1 December 2020 extended the term for benefiting from softened application requirements until 31 December 2020
The Presidential Decrees numbered 3134 and 3135 published in the Official Gazette dated 27 October 2020 extended the terms for termination prohibition, mandatory unpaid leave, and short-term working for two months.
The Presidential Decree numbered 2930 published in the Official Gazette dated 3 September 2020 extended the terms for termination prohibition and mandatory unpaid leave for two months
The Presidential Decree numbered 2915 published in the Official Gazette dated 30 August 2020 extended the period of short-term working subsidy for 2 months for the same employees under the same conditions in workplaces that applied for short-term working before 30 June 2020 due to force majeure events originating from Covid-19.
The terms of the prohibition on termination of employment contract, mandatory unpaid leave, and the financial aid for employees on mandatory unpaid leave have been extended from 17 August 2020 to 17 September 2020.
As the Labour law currently stands, termination prohibition will end on 17 August 2020. However, the extension of the president’s authority to extend the term of the prohibition for almost a year can be interpreted as a sign that the term of termination prohibition and unpaid leave is likely to be extended further.
The terms of the prohibition on termination of employment contracts, mandatory unpaid leave, and the financial aid for employees on mandatory unpaid leave have been extended for 1 month.
The Omnibus Law provides a prohibition on termination of employment contracts for a certain period as well as setting out mandatory unpaid leave and financial aid for employees.
General Contract Law
Possible Effects of Covid-19 on Contracts: Hardship (08.04.2020)
Pursuant to the Regulation Amending the Regulation on Commercial Communication and Commercial Electronic Messages which was published in the Official Gazette today, the deadline for registering the opt-in consents of recipients with IYS is extended again to 1 December 2020.
The Ministry of Commerce extended the deadline for registering the opt-in consents of recipients with IYS until 31 August 2020 with an announcement on the Ministry’s website on 23 May 2020. Accordingly, the recipients will need to check the opt-in consents registered in their names by 1 December 2020.
Pursuant to the Regulation Amending the Regulation on Commercial Communication and Commercial Electronic Messages (“Regulation”) that was published in the Official Gazette dated 4 January 2020 and numbered 30998, all natural and legal entities that deliver electronic commercial messages are obliged to register with the Centralized Commercial Message Management System (“IYS”).
A further precaution has been implemented in the judiciary system in relation to the COVID-19 disease.
While COVID-19 continues to spread, on 25.03.2020, the Grand National Assembly enacted the Law No. 7226 on the suspension of the procedural deadlines for the purpose of preventing loss of any rights due to the pandemic.
Following the postponement of the hearings and the suspension of the enforcement proceedings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the authorities have now issued a new regulation with regard to the deadlines in the adjudication proceedings.
Maritime, Shipping, and Transport
New Framework on Crew Changes During COVID-19 (08.12.2020)
Government issues new framework on crew changes during COVID-19 in compliance with the IMO’s circular letter No. 4204/Add. 1
With the global community holding their breath to see how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect all aspects of our lives, from business to our daily behavior, governments are issuing precautions to slow down the worrying trend of the infection.