Transportation and Logistics

Arrest of Ships under Turkish Law

Author: Duygu Oner


The general principles on maritime enforcement are set out in Turkish Commercial Code ("TCC") numbered 6102. On the other hand, Turkey has ratified the International Convention on Maritime Liens and Mortgages, signed in Geneva on 6 May 1993 and the International Convention on the Arrest of Ships, signed in Geneva on 12 March 1999 and both conventions have been come into force on 25 March 2017. The provisions of these two conventions have already been taken into consideration by the drafting committee of the code, and the relevant provisions have been incorporated into the TCC in preparing the same. This newsletter reviews the principles and provisions stipulated in the TCC for the arrest of ships.


Arrest and Maritime Claims

The exclusive provisional remedy provided with respect to ships under the TCC is the arrest. The arrest of ships has been stipulated for "maritime claims" that are listed as numerous clasus under Article 1352 of the TCC. In other words, a ship may only be arrested for the maritime claims which are stipulated in the TCC. As such, where non-maritime claims are made against the shipowner, the claimant may apply for an arrest under the general provisions of Turkish Enforcement and Bankruptcy Code numbered 2004 ("EBC") to be enforced on any property other than a ship1.

As per Article 1352, a maritime claim is defined as a claim arising out of one or more of the following:

a) Loss or damage caused by the operation of the ship.

b) Loss of life or personal injury, whether on land or on water, in direct connection with the operation of the ship.

c) Salvage operations or any salvage agreement, including, if applicable, special compensation relating to salvage operations in respect a ship, by itself, or its cargo, threatens damage to the environment.

d) Damage, or threat of damage caused by the ship to the environment, coastline, or related interests. Measures taken to prevent, minimize, or remove such damage; compensation for such damage; cost of reasonable measures of reinstatement of the environment actually undertaken, or to be undertaken; loss incurred, or likely to be incurred, by third parties in connection with such damage; and damages, costs, or loss of a similar nature to those identified in this subparagraph.

e) Costs or expenses relating to the raising, removal, recovery, destruction, or the rendering harmless of a ship that has sunk, has been wrecked, stranded or abandoned, including anything that is, or has been on board such ship, and the costs or expenses related to the preservation of an abandoned ship and the maintenance of its crew.

f) Any agreement relating to the use or hire of the ship, whether contained in a charter party or otherwise.

g) Any agreement relating to the carriage of goods or passengers on board the ship, whether contended in a charter party, or otherwise.

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