PECO Profile: Turkey

December 16th, 2015 § 0 comments

Turkey has a population of approximately 78 million and 87 000 lawyers (in 2015). The Union of Turkish Bar Associations was set up in 1969 and has been an observer/associate member of the CCBE since 1995.

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Prof Dr Metin FEYZİOĞLU, Esq. President of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations

Key information about the profession:

  • Initial training of lawyers: Generally, the duration of undergraduate education in law schools in Turkey except the ones which has obligatory preparation class is 4 years. The overall duration of traineeship period is one year: the first six months are spent in courts under the authority of judges and prosecutors, the second six months are spent in a law office under the supervision of a lawyer who at least has five years of experience. There is no bar exam in Turkey.
  • Continuous training: There is no compulsory continuous or permanent training for lawyers in Turkey.
  • Specialisation: There is no regulation with regard to specialisation in Turkey.
  • Discipline: All local bars in Turkey are self-regulatory disciplinary bodies. There is a “Disciplinary Board” in each bar association. The Union of Turkish Bar Associations also has a Disciplinary Board which is the authority for complaints. After the final decision, it is possible to apply to the Administrative Court.
  • Legal Aid: According to Turkish law, real persons, public benefit associations and foundations are all entitled to legal aid. Legal aid provides to its beneficiary: i) temporary exemption from all the judicial and enforcement proceedings expenses, ii) exemption from assurance regarding judicial and enforcement proceedings expenses, iii) other necessary expenses arising from judicial and enforcement proceedings to be paid in advance by State, iv) providing an attorney, whose fee to be paid later. A request for legal aid will be made to the legal aid office or its representatives at the enforcement court where the proceedings take place. If the request for legal aid is rejected, the requestor may apply to the president of the bar association verbally or in writing. The decision of the president of the bar association will be final. In the criminal procedures, all proceeding costs shall be covered by the state.

Current concerns of the Bar and main challenges in the coming years:

  • The number of law faculties is increasing, however there are not enough lecturers which leads to a decrease in the quality of education.
  • Laws passed by the Parliament which do not lead to certainty and predictability of the law.
  • Turkey is the only country in Europe which does not have an examination for becoming a lawyer therefore this situation makes elimination impossible, as well as making the need to uphold the dignity of the profession and control of the quality of services difficult.
  • Pressures against lawyers and the profession because of the general political conditions of the country.
  • Uncontrolled number of lawyers in Turkey which lowers the quality of profession.
  • Due to internet technology, the tendency to provide web-based legal services which lowers the quality of services and causes uncontrolled quality of services. It also prevents in-person contact and causes problems with regard to the tax related matters and unfair competition.
  • As the interdisciplinary practices (accountants and lawyers) intensify day by day, this situation causes a decrease of control over the legal profession’s monopoly on the practice of law.

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