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Overall, 2018 was a more active year in terms of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) enforcement actions compared to 2017. In 2018, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) took a total of 40 enforcement actions, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) took a total of 14 enforcement actions.

In May 2017, Regulation (EU) 2017/745 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2017 on medical devices (“EU Regulation”) entered into force, stipulating a transition period for medical device manufacturers to comply with the EU Regulation by May 2020. As the title of the EU Regulation suggests, it lays down enhanced rules on medical devices, manufacturers, distributors, importers, and notified bodies. For any medical device to be put into and sold on the market, full compliance with the EU Regulation is required. The EU Regulation introduces and addresses several new principles and renders procedures pertaining to medical devices more transparent, trackable and predictable. These changes aim to ensure a high level of safety and protection for patient health and for the users within this industry, also taking into consideration the technological evolution and developments in this field.

In September 2018, the Capital Markets Board (“CMB”) had issued an announcement on its website, declaring that a secondary legislation for crowdfunding was underway. Just recently, on January 4, 2019, CMB published the Draft Communiqué on Equity Crowdfunding No. III-35/A (“Draft Communiqué”). In the announcement, CMB states that the Draft Communiqué aims to ensure the effective penetration of the crowdfunding model into the capital markets legislation and create a regulatory framework for crowdfunding activities.

Norton Rose Fulbright has ended its affiliation with attorney Haluk Bilgic in Turkey and renamed its affiliate office in Istanbul, from the Bilgic Avukatlik Ortakligi (Bilgic Attorney Partnership), to the Inal Kama Avukatlik Ortakligi, reflecting its new management by Partners Ekin Inal and Olgu Kama.

The Turunc Law Firm has advised Turkish chemicals maker Egesil Kimya Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. on a EUR 15 million loan from the EBRD to to increase production of precipitated silica, a key component of energy-efficient tires that reduce carbon emissions.

“Just cause” is a term that is used frequently under the Turkish Commercial Code No. 6102 (“TCC”). In broad terms, “just cause” may be defined as a situation in which the relationship between a shareholder and the company and/or between a shareholder and other shareholders becomes unbearable or untenable for valid legal reasons. Although the term “just cause” is frequently employed under the TCC, Turkish lawmakers did not opt to provide an explicit definition of this term under the TCC and instead delegated this duty to the doctrine and the courts.

Shortly after its establishment with the Turkish Data Protection Law No. 6698 (“Law”), the Turkish Data Protection Authority (“DPA”) has started to observe the data protection ecosystem of Turkey. In this regard, the DPA has been focusing on the areas, where data protection concerns are perceived more concentratedly. One of the instruments that the DPA has been putting to use is adopting resolutions, where the violation is prevalent.  It is worth to note that “resolutions” are different than “decisions” in nature within the meaning of the Law.

Nazan Diri Bal, Managing Partner at Diri Legal in Istanbul, reflects on the turbulence of the last six months in Turkey. "There was a slowdown in the market before the June elections," she recalls, "and post-election things remained quiet for a short time, which was followed by dramatic overshooting in exchange rates, resulting in further discomfort in the market. At the beginning, no immediate actions or measures were observed, which caused fears that it was unstoppable. This affected everyone. The lira plunged to a record low, and everyone began moving very cautiously.”

After Turkey’s recent change to executive presidency, the President has made some changes in the government system. Accordingly, instead of the previous two ministries that have been the Ministry of Customs and Trade and the Ministry of Economy, there will be only one Ministry of Trade. As a result, through the Presidential Decree on Presidential Organization No. 1 published on 10.07.2018, the Ministry of Trade (the “Ministry”) now has the authority to initiate dumping or subsidy examinations, upon complaint or, where necessary, ex officio. Although the General Directorate of Imports is now affiliated with the Ministry of Trade, the recent changes remain at a ministerial level and the Board of Evaluation of Unfair Competition in Imports (within the General Directorate of Imports) is yet responsible for resolving matters with respect to actions and measures to be taken with the aim of protecting an industry against damage caused by dumped and/or subsidized imports in case of unfair competition. During the third quarter of 2018, the Ministry has initiated a number of anti-circumvention investigations and announced its decisions upon concluding several of the ongoing expiry review investigations. As in the past, the Ministry has announced its decisions with the communiqués published on the Official Gazette.