As a summary of the dispute; the Complainant claims compensation regarding violation of the post-contractual non-compete clause in a representation contract with the Respondent. However, the Court declined the claim and held that the post non-competition clause is not valid, due to the violation of the Article 48 of the Turkish Constitution, Articles 19, 20, 155, 161 of the former Turkish Code of Obligations and Article 23 of the Turkish Civil Code which are all related with the freedom to work and freedom of contract. With its ruling the Court approved the decision of the Court of First Instance.
The significance of the decision again lies on the reluctance of the Court in taking the Act on the Protection of Competition and the Block Exemption Communiqué for Vertical Agreements into consideration. In the present case, the said clause imposes two years of post-contractual non-compete obligation on the Respondent. Although this obligation may be imposed only for one year pursuant to the Block Exemption Communiqué for Vertical Agreements, the Court of Appeal again did not take into consideration the conditions indicated in the said Communiqué.
Reading this decision together with the former one made by the Court of Appeal on the same matter, it can be inferred that the Court aims to establish a precedent where it denies to apply the regulations on competition law. We will be keeping you posted about the latest developments on the issue.
Hikmet Koyuncuoglu , franchising country expert for Turkey.