Turkey: From Administrative Sanction To Criminal Sanction: New Enforcement Criminal Era Of Dishonoured Cheque

Although it has not been considered as a crime since 2012, with the Law Amending Certain Laws for Improvement of Investment Environment no. 6728 dated 09 August 2016; causing unrequited transaction with cheques or, as a commonly used concept, drawing of "dishonoured cheques" is accepted as an action requiring criminal liability. With the amendment; it is aimed to increase the reliance on cheques regarded as cash payment method on the market, to protect the cheque holders and to prevent the unrequited transactions by cheques. However, having sufficient information about the process of the stipulated enforcement-criminal procedure and managing the process have great importance for the relief of the creditors, and also the defendants although the legal requirements are not constitute for them.


One of the most confusing issues for the merchants and the public regarding the amendment is the subject of criminal liability of legal entities on drawing dishonoured cheques. The most important reason for such situation is that this crime is known as a crime of drawing dishonoured cheques, and therefore to draw a dishonoured cheque is considered as a criminal offense. However, in Article 5 (1) of the Cheque Law No. 5941 (Law), it is stipulated that the criminal liability will be on "the person who caused the unrequited transaction by drawing a cheque". Therefore, it should be stated that the criminal liability of bouncing a cheque belongs to the person obligated to keep sufficient money in the account. This person has been identified as chequing account holder according to Article 6 of the Cheque Law. In accordance with the foregoing article, if the chequing account holder is a legal entity, the member of the managing body assigned to manage the financial affairs of the legal entity; if such an assignment is not made, the real person or persons constituting the managing body shall be liable to keep sufficient amount of money corresponding the amount of the cheque in the relevant bank account.

This issue is especially important in commercial life when the cheque is used as post-dated. Accordingly, in case the chequing account holder on the date of drawing is different on the date of payment, the criminal liability is not the drawer but the person is not keeping sufficient amount in the relevant bank account on the time determined as the payment day. However, knowingly drawing a cheque in the interest of his own or anyone else's, although he is aware of that there will be no sufficient amount on the date of the payment day, may be discussed in terms of the crime of fraud.


Pursuant to Article 5 of the Law, the person committed the act of bouncing a cheque is to be punished upon the complaint of cheque holder. Cheque, is a currency bill unless stated otherwise on the bill. Therefore, while checking the authorized holder of the cheque, it is important to control the endorsements. In cases as the complainant is not made by the authorized holder, the complaint is rejected. However, in the light of the recent decisions of the Supreme Court of Appeals, it is now paved the way for the other endorsers to file complaints as authorized cheque holders. The complaint period for this offense is determined as three months from the date of the learning and one year in any case due to the reference to the Article 347 of Execution and Bankruptcy Law (EBL). It is regulated that the lawsuits initiated due to the crime will be heard in the Enforcement Courts and the provisions concerning the enforcement criminal procedure regulated in the EBL will be applicable for this crime. Accordingly, complaints of dishonoured cheques should be filed in the enforcement criminal courts and the proceedings should be strictly followed. Especially there are dangers in this procedure, due to there is no investigation phase in this procedure and the complaint petition is considered as the indictment. In case of making mistakes in the complaint petition, the complaint is rejected or the judicial proceedings might be based on mistaken complaints. Therefore, preparation and control of the complaint petition have great importance in terms of crime.

In the judgement process; the court has right to determine preventative measures ex-officio or upon a complaint for a real person or legal entity holding the cheque account; any person drawing a cheque on behalf of the legal entity; and if the cheque is drew on behalf of a capital company, managing body and authorized persons of the capital company registered at trade registry such as a prohibition of drawing cheque and opening cheque account. However there is right to make objection against the decision of the court.

Another important point of this procedure is the trials. In case the complainant or his attorney does not attend the trial without a valid excuse, the complaint might be dropped. For the defendant, the court is able to take the decision in his absence, if the defendant does not come to the trial and the necessary procedures have been made. Therefore, participation in the trial or representation by attorney has great importance for both parties in the enforcement criminal judgment.


Another issue that may be raised in terms of the crime is that the cheque debtor declares concordat and the cheque become unrequited in the concordat process. According to the EBL, the debtor not able to pay his debts or under the danger of not being able to pay, has been given the opportunity to request concordat to get rid of such situation. In the phase starting with announcement of temporary respite order, the execution proceedings shall not be commenced; or implementation of the execution decisions already taken such as preliminary injunctions and provisional attachments orders including public receivables against concordat applicant debtor shall be ceased. In this case, not paying debts is arising from a legally recognized right and the concordat is announced before this process. Therefore, since there will be a legal requirement that the cheques which have been drew before the concordat and need to be paid after the date of the temporary respite order are unrequited (the reason of compliance with laws), such cheques shall not be subject to the crime of bouncing cheque. However, it should be noted that there is the possibility to draw cheques within the period stated in respite order, and there is no hesitation in the occurrence of the crime if the bouncing cheque transaction is committed during the respite order period.


Upon the complaint, the person who issues a dishonoured cheque shall be sentenced one thousand and five hundred days judicial fine per dishonoured cheque. However, judicial fine shall not be less than the dishonoured cheque amount. In addition, the court gives a ruling about prohibition of drawing cheque and opening cheque account. In case of the existence of these prohibitions, court rules the continuation of the prohibitions. Another outstanding feature in the sanction of the crime is that the provisions regarding advance payment, reconciliation and suspension of pronouncement of judgment are not applicable. However, in terms of this crime the important feature is that if the judicial fines are not paid, this sentence shall be directly converted to imprisonment without a sentence to serve public service. The issue providing deterrence and attracting the attention of the public is that the crime may cause even imprisonment sentence at the end of the process. In spite of this serious sanction, it is also possible to benefit from the effective remorse regulations at various stages in terms of crime.

Hereunder; the following decisions shall be made about the person paying the unrequited amount of the dishonoured cheques with the default interest which is calculated using the default interest rate for commercial transactions stated in Law no. 3095 beginning from the legal submission date according to the written date of issuance of the cheque:

  • In the trial stage, the case is dismissed by the court,
  • After the verdict of the conviction is finalized, all the consequences of the judgment shall be eliminated by the court.

Originally published November 2018

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions