REUTERS | Murad Sezer

Istanbul’s new arbitration centre: a bridge between Europe and Asia

Istanbul is renowned for being the hub that separates Europe from Asia. It is a fast growing metropolis, which welcomes much in the way of foreign investment and interest. It is now also a proud centre for international arbitration, with the opening of the new Istanbul Arbitration Centre (ISTAC). Turkish investors and entrepreneurs have waited for a system that caters for their dispute resolution needs vis-à-vis foreign investments and transactions for a long time. The establishment of such a centre has introduced the notion of alternative dispute resolution in Turkey in a revolutionary manner. Transactions between Turkish companies and companies in third party countries have been made easier, with the safety-net of knowing that any disputes may be resolved in a confidential and effective manner by way of arbitration taking place in Istanbul, Turkey, unless the parties agree otherwise.

The arbitration and mediation rules of the ISTAC (ISTAC Rules) were prepared by the ISTAC and entered into force on 26 October 2015. The ISTAC Rules are in line with international standards. They focus on efficiency, and, when compared to the rules of the other institutions, the ISTAC Rules are just as fast. Although the ISTAC Rules aim to settle disputes within six months, they also incorporate a fast-track system whereby disputes are envisaged to be resolved within three months.

ISTAC also attracts and encourages those from outside Turkey to build solid business relationships with Turkish companies. They will benefit from the possibility of having their disputes resolved in a centre that is strategically based between Asia and Europe. The ISTAC also offers a fast and cost effective procedure; the result will be that parties will be able to resolve their disputes in an efficient and effective manner.

The ISTAC has an impressive international board, with reputable and prestigious members of the international arbitration community.

Professor Dr Ziya Akinci, the President of the ISTAC board, is a member of various international arbitration institutions such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and he has acted as arbitrator in numerous cases. The members of ISTAC’s International Board are Dr Jan Paulsson, Dr Hamid Gharavi and Dr Bernard Hanotiau. Each has a notable standing in international arbitration and such an impressive foreign element will, undoubtedly, attract foreign investors to use the centre.

With the ISTAC Rules, Istanbul is set to become the trend hub, with ISTAC a favoured choice for settling international commercial disputes.

Akinci Law Office Fatma Hüseyin Güney Selin Ece Onur

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