Attachment of Debtor’s Assets in Turkey

When it comes to enforcement proceedings, Turkish law distinguishes between non-monetary (e.g., specific performance) and monetary claims (i.e, payment of an amount of money). Enforcement of monetary claims is regulated by the Turkish Debt Collection and Bankruptcy Act.

The same holds true for interim measures aiming at securing the enforcement of a judgment. Such measures can be applied for at any time during judicial proceedings on the merits or even before such proceedings have been initiated.

In practice, the most common situation is that a plaintiff wishes to secure a monetary claim by attaching the debtor’s assets such as bank accounts held in Turkey. By way of an attachment order, the debtor or garnishee (the third party holding the debtor’s assets, such as a Swiss bank) is prohibited under threat of criminal sanctions to dispose of or transfer the blocked assets. Depending on the type of assets, the local Debt Collection Office in charge of the execution of the attachment may also request that such assets be placed in custody, which is, however, rare in practice.

The attachment order is merely an interim measure aiming at securing the later enforcement of a monetary claim but, as a rule, does not grant the plaintiff any preferential rights. The attached assets remain the property of the debtor, who is merely restricted from disposing of the said assets or from transferring them.