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Turkey gives reassurance to international investors with the ‘Singapore Convention’

Head of Mediation Department Durmusoglu stated that the “United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements as a Result of Mediation”, also known as the “Singapore Convention”, gives reassurance to investors coming to Turkey.

The ratification of the Singapore Convention, which was signed by 46 countries in Singapore on 7 August 2019, brought an international dimension to Turkey in the developments in the field of mediation.

The convention, which allows for the rapid and amicable resolution of commercial disputes and the development of international trade, makes it possible to execute the settlement agreements signed within the scope of mediation in commercial disputes without the need for a court or arbitrator decision approving in the parties.

While the agreement makes Turkey an attractive country for foreign investors, whose legal security has been strengthened in the business world, it also enables domestic investors to make secure investments in other party countries.

Umut Ilhan Durmusoglu, Head of Mediation Department of the General Directorate of Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Justice, who attended the Arbitration and Mediation Center License Delivery Ceremony organized by the Kayseri Chamber of Commerce, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that mediation and arbitration opportunities are factors that increase Turkey’s investment attractiveness.

Stating that the Singapore Convention is an important agreement, Durmusoglu stated that Turkey signed this agreement in Singapore at the United Nations Commercial Law Commission in 2019.

He stated that the Ministry of Justice is trying to make Turkey’s own institutions ready for these changes and to inform them if there is talk of a change in this agreement.

Pointing out that with this agreement, a decrease in the burden on the judicial system was achieved, Durmusoglu said:

“Singapore Convention, in its simplest form, is an international mediation agreement that takes effect in countries that are subject to that mediation agreement. In fact, in alternative resolution dispute methods, people generally pay their debts because they accept their debts voluntarily. They are fulfilling the result of that agreement. Is this a court order? No. What kind of risk is there that the content of the agreement there is not fulfilled. The party that accepts the debt and says that I will pay the money may not be binding, but with the Singapore Convention, a mediation agreement becomes enforceable just like a court decision. This increases the credibility associated with mediation. The fact that we are a party to big traders and tradesmen, to international investors who will come and invest, ‘We offer all possibilities such as mediation, arbitration, judiciary if you want. We have no fear.’ we say. We signed this agreement without reservation. We will see the results of this. It will provide preference and reassurance for the investor to come here.”

The social dimension of mediation becomes important

Stating that mediation in Turkey is an adventure that started in 2013, Durmusoglu stated that most of the disputes were successfully resolved.

“Mediation has become important in legal disputes,” said Durmusoglu, adding that the social dimension of this situation is also important.

Durmusoglu emphasized that mediation is important not only in legal disputes, but also in raising awareness and transformation of people.

Stating that the last resort should be the judiciary in the dispute between the two citizens, Durmusoglu said:

“For example, you wanted to evict your tenant, they did not leave the house. Does this remain a civil lawsuit? It is simply insulting and threatening. Worse, it can go as far as killing. This means that even if the legal case is resolved, it is not solved socially. That wound remains. We know where we work. There are thousands of olive trees, there are those who sue for an olive tree. Those people do not need an olive tree. Who will collect it? 5 people die from an olive tree. This means that our country should also look at this issue from a social perspective. We don’t expect these people to be friends again, but is the thought of hurting each other over in their heads? In this context, as the Department of Mediation, we have recently started a project called ‘Social mediation’. The purpose of this is, the public has become conscious on the condition of a lawsuit. We want the public to absorb mediation. We want citizens to receive such trainings on conflict resolution, communication techniques, anger management, culture of living together. When the citizen has a dispute, he should state to the mediator lawyer that he does not want him to take it to the court. It should demand the creation of an environment that will meet at the middle point.”

Source: AA / Translated by Irem Yildiz

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