Bar Association Rules of Professional Conduct - Turkey

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Contents

I - General Rules

1. Believing in the necessity for independence of bar associations and of the Union of Bar Associations of Turkey, Turkish attorneys have resolved to accomplish the duties behooving them in this respect both individually and institutionally.

2. The attorney retains his/her independence in his/her professional activities and avoids accepting work that could damage this independence.

3. The attorney will conduct his/her professional activities in such a way as to ensure public faith and confidence in the profession and his/her work with complete dedication.

4. The attorney is under the obligation to refrain from all attitudes and conduct that would blemish the respectability of the profession. The attorney is obligated to be careful about this in his/her private life, as well.

5. The attorney must express his/her ideas in a mature and objective manner in writing and in speech. The attorney must avoid statements not related to law or statutes.

6. The attorney's interest will be in the legal aspect of his/her litigation and defense. He/she must remain outside any hostilities engendered by the dispute between the parties concerned.

7. The attorney must meticulously avoid all gratuitous acts intended solely to promote his/her reputation. a) The only announcement the attorney may publicly make is his/her change of address provided that such announcement is not in the nature of advertisement. b) The attorney's letterheads, calling cards, and office signs may not be of such lavish design as to bear the nature of advertisement. c) The attorney may have his/her address indicated in the businesses section of the telephone directory. He/she may not publish any announcement other than this using different sized letters or text in the nature of advertisement. d) Attorneys sharing an office will exercise care to ensure that the office is not a means for publicity and that its status of a law office is not obscured.

8. The attorney must avoid all conduct in the nature of solicitation for work.

9. The attorney must make sure that other status and privileges he/she legally commands do not bear upon his/her professional activities. The attorney may not take advantage of his/her title of attorney in personal disputes outside the sphere of his/her professional activities.

10. The attorney may not enter conflicting claims for the same suit.

11. The attorney is under the obligation to conduct himself/herself in accordance with the requisites of professional solidarity and order adopted by the Union of Bar Associations of Turkey.

12. The attorney takes care to keep his/her office in a state becoming the dignity of the profession.

13. An attorney who will be absent from his/her office for a prolonged period will inform his/her bar association of the name of a colleague to take care of his/her business and deal with his/her clients.

14. Rightful excuses notwithstanding, the attorney is under the obligation to accept the duties assigned by professional organizations.

15. The attorney will present to his/her bar association a copy of the declaration of suit when a suit has been filed against him/her in connection with his/her professional activities. The attorney is under the obligation to accept the offer of mediation made by his/her bar association in the case of legal disputes he/she is involved in.

16. The attorney has the right to review all documentation pertaining to his/her person in the bar association at any time.


II - Relations with jurisdictional bodies and legal authorities

17. The attorney must conduct himself/herself in compliance with the norms dictated by the nature of the profession in his/her dealings with judges and prosecutors. Mutual courtesy is the rule.

18. The attorney may not be assigned to a legal matter he/she has addressed previously as a judge, prosecutor, arbitrator, or in any other official capacity.

19. The attorney will exercise his/her discretion in a manner best suiting the honor of the profession in his/her dealings with relatives and other kin removed farther than the degree stipulated in the statutory provisions specifying the impediments arising from sanguinary or marital relationship with judges and prosecutors.

20. The attorney will appear before justice in attire befitting the dignity of the profession. The premises and occasions, other than in courts, where formal attorneyship attire must be donned will be indicated in regulations to be prepared by the Union of Bar Associations of Turkey.

21. The attorney may not leave a trial before court unless necessitated by reasons of personal or professional honor, in which case he/she must immediately notify his/her bar association.

22. The attorney must refrain from requests that would entail the prolongation of the suit unless absolutely necessary for the defense.

23. Concerning challenge of or complaint against judge, prosecutor, and other judiciary officers and generally in his/her writing and speech, the attorney will state the reasons required by law in a manner not exceeding the purpose. The attorney will submit a copy of the requests made for challenge or complaint to his/her bar association.

24. The attorney must avoid being cast under suspicion of having influenced persons to be heard later as witnesses if he/she has to learn certain facts from such persons exceptionally. The attorney may not make recommendations to the accused and may not instruct them how to testify or what to do before a judge.

25. The attorney maintains his/her conduct in consonance with the honor and dignity of the profession in his/her dealings with personnel in clerical offices of courts, enforcement offices, and all kinds of jurisdictional authorities.

III - Solidarity and relations among colleagues

26. No attorney may make public statements regarding his/her opinion of the professional attitude and conduct of a colleague. Complaints of this nature will be made only to bar associations.

27. No attorney may openly pronounce his/her derogatory personal opinions of a colleague, particularly one representing the adverse party. An attorney who undertakes a suit as principal or representative against another attorney will inform his/her bar association of the suit. Within the context of the obligation to furnish information, this rule will also be applicable to the suits to be filed by bar associations and the Union of Bar Associations of Turkey against third parties, an by third parties against bar associations and the Union of Bar Associations of Turkey.

28. An attorney visiting the jurisdictional area of another bar association for the first time in connection with a suit in that area spends every reasonable effort to make a courtesy call upon the president of that bar association.

29. An attorney who receives an assignment from the president of his/her bar association due to the death of a colleague or other reasons may not reject this assignment without an acceptable excuse.

30. Attorneys will not deny each other such assistance and convenience in procedural actions and examination of files as may be considered necessary by way of solidarity in their professional routine. In the event that an attorney on whom a decision of trial in absence has been entered due to his/her lateness arrives before court immediately thereafter, the attorney representing the adverse party must request the cancellation or correction of that decision. An attorney who is unable to make himself/herself present in a trial in another location due to an excuse must inform the attorney of the adverse party of such excuse in advance if the attorney of the adverse party will also be traveling from another location. Correspondence between attorneys marked as "confidential" may not be disclosed without the consent of the originator.

31. The attorney may not contact the adverse party unless in the person of the counsel of the adverse party. If the adverse party does not have counsel, the attorney's contact with the adverse party will remain necessarily limited. The attorney will keep his/her client informed after every contact with the adverse party.

32. The attorney will provide his/her colleague representing the adverse party with a copy of the declarations and important documents submitted to the court regardless of the nature and procedure of the suit.

33. An attorney consenting to take an apprentice will exercise the necessary care and attention for the proper training of the apprentice and will make the necessary arrangements therefor.


IV - Relations with clients

34. The attorney may advise the client of his/her legal opinion as to the possible outcome of the suit emphasizing, however, the fact that such opinion is not a guarantee.

35. An attorney may not assume in the same suit at once the representation of two persons of whom the defense of one would be prejudicial to that of the other.

36. An attorney rendering legal services for one of the parties to a dispute will be bound by the rule of not representing persons with conflicting interests.

37. Attorneys are bound to professional secrecy.

a) The attorney may also fall back on this rule in abstaining from testimony. The attorney will treat as secret the information he/she has received from potential clients for whom he/she has eventually decided not to render services. The attorney's commitment to professional secrecy is indefinite. Leaving the profession will not terminate such commitment.

b) The attorney will take the necessary measures to preclude conduct in violation of the rule of professional secrecy on the part of his/her colleagues in assistance, apprentices, and employees, as well.

38. The attorney may decline to render services without having to state a reason. The attorney may not be forced to disclose the reasons underlying such a decision. The attorney will not agree to render services for which his/her time and competence are not adequate. The attorney will take care to exercise his/her right to abstain from assuming and litigating a suit in a manner not prejudicial to his/her client.

39. In the event that a client wishes to retain a second attorney in addition to the one with whom he/she had made the original contract, the second attorney must inform the first of the situation in writing before agreeing to render services.

40. The attorney may not make statements to the media on behalf of his/her client unless absolutely necessary. Any statements thus made must not be motivated with an intention to influence the media.

41. The attorney may not seek to benefit from a suit at the expense of his/her client by neglecting his/her duty or abusing his/her powers.

42. The attorney may request an advance payment to offset expenses related to the work. Care will be taken to ensure that the amount requested to be advanced is not overly in excess of what is reasonably sufficient, that the expenditures made out of the advanced amount be reported to the client from time to time, and that the money remaining from the advanced amount upon completion of the work is returned to client.

43. Money and other instruments of value received on behalf of the client will be reported and delivered to the client without delay. If there is an account associated with the client, its status will be reported to the client in writing at appropriate intervals.

44. The attorney will make the necessary effort to prevent any verbal assault directed against his/her colleagues by his/her client.

45. The attorney may exercise his/her right of lien in proportion to the money owed to him/her.

46. Work done within the framework of judicial aid will be performed with the same care as accorded to other work.

47. An attorney intending to file suit over fee will first inform the board of directors of the bar association. The board of directors of the bar association will have the authority to render an opinion on the matter.

V - Attorneys' relations with bar associations and the Union of Bar Associations of Turkey

48. In bar associations, the presidency and memberships in the board of directors and disciplinary board may not be combined in the same person. In the Union of Bar Associations of Turkey, the presidency, membership in the board of directors, and chairpersonship and membership in the disciplinary board may not be combined in the same person.

VI - Entry into effect and field of implementation

49. Bar associations may, with due attention to the provisions governing the agenda, submit new recommendations to the general assembly of the Union of Bar Associations of Turkey for the purpose of ensuring the constant evolution of the foregoing professional rules.

50. The professional rules above have been adopted in the fourth general assembly meeting of the Union of Bar Associations of Turkey held on 8 and 9 January 1971 and decided to enter into effect on the date of their publication in the Bulletin of the Union of Bar Associations of Turkey.


See Ethics and Professional Responsibility