Contributor: Erten Attorneys at Law
Author: Alper Efe Erten, Eda Nur Akgül, Ali Haydar Aksu
1. Which authority is in charge of the civil aviation registry in Turkey? Does Turkey use a single-registry system or is there a dual-registry system in place?
Electronic Signature Law regulates the merits and procedures concerning the electronic signature. Electronic Signature Law does not provide a certain list of documents that can be executed with the use of the electronic signature but provides that any document except documents subject to a mandatory formal procedure according to laws and regulations, Letter of Bank Guarantee and Surety Bonds drafted by the insurance companies based on Turkey. Pursuant to the Circular on Registration of Financial Lease Contracts Covering Financial Leases of Persons Residing Abroad to Persons Residing in Turkey and Circular on IDERA Financial Lease agreements and IDERAs shall be carried out by a notary public. Therefore, it is not possible to use electronic signatures.
3. What are the requirements and documentation to register an aircraft in Turkey? Include references to formalities such as notarisation, legalization, etc.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation does not use the electronic register for Aircraft Documents or Aircraft Documents.
5. Are there any weight and/or maximum age restrictions to register an aircraft in Turkey?
The validity and enforceability of the documents, such as lease contracts, are bound to the registry of the contracts under the Financial Leasing Registry under the Financial Leasing Association and approval of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
The Financial Leasing Association and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation do not use any electronic register, and both institutes require Notary requirements to be fulfilled. When it comes to the Notary affirmation procedure, Notaries require documents to be executed with ink signatures.
In this regard, since the documents executed using an electronic signature or certification are not affirmed by the Notaries, a registry cannot be made by the Financial Leasing Registry, and approval cannot be given by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, which results in documents to be void and unenforceable.
When it comes to documents such as IDERA, the Regulation on IDERA (SHY-IDERA) specifically regulates that IDERA must be drafted and executed before a notary and must be signed physically.
6. Does registration of an aircraft in the national registry constitute proof of ownership under the laws of Turkey?
The National Judicial Information System allows all litigation processes to be conducted online by using secure electronic signatures, and it is indeed possible to initiate a legal claim before a court and maintain meticulous records of ongoing lawsuits, learn trial schedules, submit documents, and make payments for expenses and fees online.
7. How is an aircraft title transfer effected in Turkey? What are the formalities required to register such title transfer in the national registry of Turkey (e.g., notarization, legalization etc.)? Please summarize the related costs and procedures.
In Electronic Signature Law, there are two types of electronic signatures in essence, namely electronic signature and secure electronic signature.
Pursuant to the Electronic Signature Law, a secure electronic signature has legal recognition, and Article 5 explicitly recognizes the validity of both handwritten signatures and secure digital electronic signature; therefore, a secured electronic signature has the same legal effect as a handwritten signature. According to the Turkish Regulation, in exceptional cases, an official form or a special ceremony and guarantee agreements other than bank letters of guarantee cannot be executed with a secure electronic signature. In this case, it is also possible that a secure electronic signature may not meet the written form requirement.
It should be noted that e-signatures are only issued by certified Electronic Certificate Service Providers sanctioned by the Turkish Information and Communication Technologies Authority. Consequently, an e-signature was provided by an approved provider, and electronic documents can be executed with digital validity.
8. What information and details are reflected in the certificate of registration of an aircraft?
According to Turkish Regulation, there is no form required for the validity of contracts, except for some contracts which require an official form or special procedure, such as the sale of real estate. Therefore, when there is no special form requirement, it will be possible to sign contracts with an electronic signature. The electronic signatures that shall be fulfilled based on a qualified electronic certificate conditions will not be deemed as secured, and they will fulfil the written requirements. In other words, if a document’s validity is bound to a formal procedure according to Law, then an electronic signature cannot be used on execution at all.
9. Are the entries in the aircraft registry of Turkey made available to the public upon submission of a specific application to the competent authority? Are there any fees payable for this?
Validity and enforceability of the documents, such as financial lease contracts, are bound to the registry of the contracts under the Financial Leasing Registry under the Financial Leasing Association and approval of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. In terms of IDERA, it is specifically regulated under the Regulation on IDERA (SHY-IDERA) that it must be drafted and executed before a Notary and signed physically.
The Financial Leasing Association and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation do not use any electronic register, and both institutes require the Notary requirements to be fulfilled. When it comes to the Notary affirmation procedure, the Notaries require documents to be executed with ink signatures. Therefore, foreign or native electronic signatures cannot be used with regard to the establishment of validity and enforceability for such contracts. Therefore, Financial Lease Agreements or any Finance Documents must be signed using a wet signature to be deemed as valid.
10. What kind of aircraft operations can be conducted with aircraft registered in Turkey (i.e., private use, commercial air transport or both)?
Blockchain technology is not used for the purpose of control of Aircraft Documents or any such areas. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation uses digital tools only in its communications on matters such as document requests, permit requests and incident reporting.
11. Does the civil aviation authority in Turkey authorise the operation of foreign registered aircraft? If so, with which countries has Turkey entered into bilateral agreements on the basis of article 83-bis of the ICAO Chicago Convention for the delegation of regulatory oversight?
There are both Notary and Apostille requirements in Turkey. Notaries do not apply affirmation to electronically signed documents; they require ink signature copies of the documents for the affirmation.
a. Has Turkey implemented the e-Apostille program?
Turkey is one of the signatory parties to the Hague Convention of 1961 and its amendments. Therefore, documents that include an e-Apostille can be used for all procdures concerning registration with Civil Aviation Authorities.