The Project on “The Development of Mediation Practices in Civil Disputes in Turkey” is co-funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Republic of Turkey, and implemented by the Council of Europe, started on 1 December 2014 and was completed on 30 September 2017.

The Ministry of Justice of Turkey was the main beneficiary of the Project. The purpose of the Project was to improve the efficiency of justice by reducing the cost and time needed to resolve civil disputes through an effective implementation of mediation practices.

The budget of the project was 1,757,693.12 Euros, 62,5 % of which was funded by the Sida, 37,5 % by the Republic of Turkey.

The Mediation Department of the DG Civil Law Affairs of the Ministry of Justice was the main target group. Other target groups were mediators, 32 judges and court staff of the 6 pilot courts selected in the scope of the Project, UYAP (National Judiciary Informatics System), the law faculties, academicians and trainers in training institutions, the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, local bar associations, industry and trade chambers, NGOs and the Turkish Justice Academy.

The expected results under the Project can be summarised under 4 main headings:

  1. The Ministry of Justice is supported in the preparation of draft legal amendments to strengthen the implementation of mediation in civil disputes. The activities under this heading will aim at supporting the review and the adoption of the amendments to the 2012 Law on mediation. The CoE will provide the MoJ with the necessary expertise in drafting the required amendments.
  2. A model for implementing mediation in civil law disputes is piloted in selected courts and ready for adoption and further dissemination. Up to 32 Pilot courts (each civil court refers to one judge with its registry) within a maximum of 6 pilot courthouses are selected for designing the model of the mediation practices. A working group for this model development will be established, including national and international experts and a small number of relevant stakeholders. This working group along with the relevant WGs will develop action plan(s) for each pilot jurisdiction, and these action plans will be applied in 6 selected pilot jurisdictions/pilot courthouses.
  3. Clear, adequate, standardised and CEPEJ- compliant basic training curricula for mediators are developed and adopted for implementation by the Mediation Department. A standardised and updated curriculum will be developed for basic mediation training and the training of mediation trainers in line with the CoE /CEPEJ and International standards.
  4. A public awareness and communication strategy about mediation in civil disputes is developed and adopted for implementation by the Mediation Department. Framed and targeted communication initiatives are carried out to contribute to awareness-raising about mediation. Selected decision makers are given a clearer understanding of mediation practices in other European countries.