Mehmet Cem ŞAHİN
The arbitration mechanism helps to resolve commercial disputes in accordance with the will of the parties, without being bound by difficult procedures in court. Arbitration proceedings provide an easy, fast and effective solution that the parties are satisfied with. It is important that arbitration proceedings, which are aimed to be used effectively in Turkey in recent years, are carried out by specialized institutions. Turkey is being an attracted economical center in its landscape during the last decade. Especially Istanbul, with its historical and commercial importance is the most significiant city in Euro-Asia. The Istanbul Arbitration Centre shortly described as ISTAC, was established in 2015 in Istanbul. Given Turkey’s key geographical location, the ISTAC shall be an international centre for the resolution of commercial disputes between European, Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
In both International Commercial Arbitration and Investment Arbitration, the constantly developing Turkish economy and an increasing number of disputes related to Turkey can be resolved within this institution. The role and importance of this institution will increase in the coming years with the development of Turkey's commercial relations. Besides with commercial contracts according to Constitution, in concession terms and contracts related to public services, it may be envisaged that the disputes arising from these will be resolved through national or international arbitration. ISTAC has become one of the leading institutions in the resolution of national and international commercial disputes, with its expert arbitrators, technical infrastructure and international reputation. According to circular that published by Official Gazette on 19 November 2016 derived from Turkish Prime Ministry public institutions to provide for arbitration under the auspices of ISTAC in their national and international contracts. It was highlighted on that circular, decisions of arbitration have not need any approve before implementation. This means that ISTAC's arbitral awards have effect same as court judgments and cannot be appealed. Another importance of this circular is that it encourages public institutions and organizations to arbitrate proceedings. Testament to the quality of the institution is the board of arbitration which heads the centre, which consists of notable practitioners and academics, from both Turkey and abroad such as Prof. Dr. Ziya Akinci.
The importance of commercial relations and the resolution of the problems experienced quickly and according to certain procedures by the arbitrators, whose decisions are trusted by the parties who know the commercial life, is a situation that will put the investors at ease. The ISTAC offers services such as Fast Track Arbitration, Emergency Arbitrator and appointments of arbitrators in ad hoc procedures. The ISTAC arbitral awards are binding and subject to enforcement anywhere in the world.
The ISTAC Arbitration and Mediation Rules have been developed to provide for a speedy, cost-effective and confidential arbitration, with many standards similar to those found in most contemporary arbitral institutions globally. The parties to a dispute are free to decide the seat, language and applicable law to the proceedings. They may also appoint arbitrators of their choosing and without the confines of a list. The ISTAC consists of a Board and a Secretariat, comprised of internationally prominent and leading experts in the area of arbitration law. The role of the Board is to assist parties and arbitrators in ensuring that disputes are resolved as efficiently as possible. The Secretariat is available to provide its services under the Rules and to answer questions from parties, their counsels, arbitrators, and any other actors involved in the ISTAC dispute resolution services. ISTAC will also ensure the protection of the personal data of the applicants in accordance with the legal rules in accordance with the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698. Located in the business center of Istanbul, ISTAC offers conference, meeting and hearing rooms according to the applicants' schedule, according to full-day, half-day or hourly reservations. All rooms are equipped with audiovisual facilities and high speed wifi, copy and fax services are available.
As a result, one of the conditions for Turkey to become a commercial center in the regional and international arena is knowing that the legal problems that may arise will be resolved by a reputable arbitration institution. In this respect, ISTAC stands out as an important institution. Therefore, In Turkey, as a respected country in the economic field, should be encouraged to apply to arbitration in commercial relations because there are competent institutions, especially ISTAC, that can make this judgment. In order to realize this aim, encouragement of lawyers, academicians, lawyers, legislators and business people is needed.