As an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Mediation is one of a variety of procedures to solve a conflict based on voluntary participation of the parties that the mediator systematically facilitates communication between the parties with the aim of enabling the parties themselves to take responsibility for resolving their dispute. The core characteristics are the confidentiality of the procedure and the neutrality of the mediator. Contrary to authoritative, claim-oriented, expensive and long court proceedings, mediation offers self-determined and flexible approach. Mediation can be differentiated from other types of alternative dispute resolution and instead of forcing the outcome the mediator tries to empower the parties themselves top solve their conflict. The purpose of mediation is to allow the parties to find a resolution to their conflict in a sustainable and self-determined way.
First Mediation Legislation, Law 6325, has been enacted in 2013 and Turkish mediation practice has developed quickly through the implementation of mandatory mediation. Currently, employment disputes and commercial disputes arising out of receivables and compensation claims are subject to mandatory mediation. The new law was published in the Official Gazette on 19 December 2018 and came into effect on 01 January 2019. Voluntary mediation and mandatory mediation provide parties an immediate and effective alternative to reach settlement while providing an opportunity for all parties to avoid long and expensive trials. Our mediator Dicle Aras has broad knowledge and experience in both employment and commercial disputes and she closed over 50 voluntary mediation. While settlement was always an option in commercial disputes it was not a first choice in employment disputes which is an important part of civil litigation in Turkey. After Law 7036 took effect on 01.01.2018 it became applicable to a wide range of employment disputes. However, it is safe to underline that mandatory mediation is still a voluntary process forcing parties to meet and settle the dispute before filing any case to the court. Either party has right to end mediation any time therefore, any settlement reached is voluntary but is not a legal requirement. High rates of settlement in mandatory mediation and the remarkable reduction in court cases shows that mandatory mediation has been successfully implemented and developing each day. Statistically mandatory mediation reduced the number of civil cases up to 60% and 300.000 disputes have settled so far.