As Ketenci&Ketenci, we will be hosting European Lawyers 2016 Annual Conference which will take place in Berlin on 04-05 June. Our Managing Partner, Güvenç Ketenci is also the Founder and has been acting as the President of European Lawyers, a group of international network of lawyers which currently has around 15,000 lawyers as members on a global scale. For further info and participating to this event, please visit European Lawyers website: http://www.europeanlawyersevents.com/
Ketenci & Ketenci Becomes Newest Member of the ATC (American Turkish Council)
As one of the leading business associations in the United States, American Turkish Council (ATC) is dedicated to effectively strengthening US-Turkish relations through the promotion of commercial, defense, technology and cultural relations. Its diverse membership includes Fortune 500, US and Turkish companies, multinationals, nonprofit organizations and individuals with an interest in US-Turkish relations. ATC strives to enhance the growing ties between the US and Turkey by initiating and facilitating efforts to increase investment and trade between the two countries.
As a leading international law firm in Turkey, we regularly advise several leading US-based clients and investors on their Turkish law related requirements. We are very pleased to join the ATC in this respect as well.
IFN Europe Forum 2015 in Luxembourg, 10 June 2015
Our Managing Partner, Mr. Güvenç Ketenci participated to ISFIN’s annual event held and IFN Europe Forum which was held in Luxembourg on 10 June 2015. Luxembourg Minister of Finance, Mr. Pierre Gramegna, gave a keynote speech during the event. Several Islamic investors and regulators were amongst event attendants. Islamic funds direction within the year 2015 was widely discussed.
ISFIN (Islamic Market Advisors) is the world’s leading advisory network for Islamic markets. Ketenci&Ketenci is the exclusive member of ISFIN in Turkey. Mr. Güvenç Ketenci has recently been elected amongst 500 influential figures in Islamic Finance on a global scale.
Switzerland - Turkey Business Forum
We have attended “Swiss-Turkish Relations” event held by Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Turkey at ‘Cercle d’Orient in Istanbul.
Ketenci&Ketenci is a member of Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Turkey which acts as a trade connection bridge and communication center between Turkey and Switzerland and works closely with the Swiss Consulate in Turkey.
Invest in Switzerland video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd99IJQhk7U&feature=youtu.be
Turkey-Czech Republic Business Forum in Ankara, January 14th 2015:
On the occasion of the visit of President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Mr. Jan Hamáček and the accompanying delegation of businessmen, Turkey-Czech Republic Business Forum was held in Ankara Sheraton Hotel, on January 14th 2015.
As well as the prominent logistic, energy, finance, investment and engineering companies of Czech Republic; Czech Eximbank and over 50 company representatives from Turkey attended the meeting.
Debt Sales & Recovery Conference in İstanbul, 19-20 March 2015:
We have attended the Debt Sales & Recovery Conference held in İstanbul on 19-20 March 2015. The event brought together Banks, AMCs, DCAs, Distressed Debt Investors and Debt Purchasers from around the Turkey and Europe
Bankers engaging with Restructuring, Collecting, Managing and Organising the sale of Distressed Debt portfolios, Distressed Investors, Private Equity & Venture Capital companies and Hedge Fund Managers investing in Distressed Debt portfolios, Investment Bankers & Fund Managers financing major NPL transactions were amongst the event attendants.
Turkey-Poland Business Forum, 26 March 2015:
We participated to Turkey-Poland Business Forum that was executed in İstanbul Conrad Hotel on 26 March 2015 by DEIK, within the scope of Polish Foreign Minister Mr. Grzegorz Schetyna’s official visit to Turkey, with the cooperation of Polish Trade Chamber.
Turkey-Cote D'Ivoire Business Forum under the hosting of Foreign Economic Relations Board, 27 March 2015:
We attended to Turkey-Ivory Coast Business Forum held under DEIK patronage. Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara gave a speech during the conference. Turkish Business elite as well as several businessman attended the event. Ketenci&Ketenci ILP’s business partner Anri Rodrig engaged talks with the President Ouattara and representatives of Ivory Coast business environment.
3rd Investing Turkey Forum in London, 17 April 2015:
Our Managing Partner Mr. Güvenç Ketenci and our Partner Mrs. Eda Ketenci attended to 3rd Investing Turkey Forum in London, UK on 17 April 2015.
Developers in Energy, Renewable Energy, Transport, Real Estate, Agriculture, ICT sector, PPP Project Managers, Local and International Investment Bank, Private Equity Funds, Venture capitalists, Institutional investors and Risk management firms were amongst the other event attendants.
Mr. Ketenci met with UK based institutional investors. The parties discussed new investment opportunities in energy, retail and mining sector in Turkey.
International Investing Summit 2015 in İstanbul, 29-30 April 2015:
We met and discussed several inward and outward investment projects with participants mainly from, UAE, Qatar and other MENA countries within the scope of the International Investing Summit 2015 held in İstanbul between 29-30 April 2015.
In accordance with increasing production volume and valued investment probabilities; projects for the future and the existing potential investment projects were discussed by putting invertors in Arabic Peninsula especially in Gulf Area, the CEO’s of the companies, investment capacity of which is over 1.5 trillion dollars and Turkish businessman and the government all together. The aim of the program was to make Istanbul the finance and investment central of Europe, Russia, Middle East and Far East and to make sustainable organization combining all investors and financial experts around Turkey.
Partnership and Cooperation with Italian Companies
We attended the Italian Trade Agency meeting on “Partnership and Cooperation with Italian Companies” on May 26th, 2015 in İstanbul and met with the delegation consisting of Italy’s leading industrialists.
European Lawyers Istanbul Event
We have hosted European Lawyers Istanbul Event which was held in Bahçeşehir University on 29-30 May 2015.
Event commenced by Our Managing Partner and European Lawyers Founder&President Mr. Güvenç Ketenci’s welcome remarks.
Several high profile European lawyers attended the event where issues concerning Turkey-EU Relations, Corporate Law matters such as M&As, Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution practices and investing in Europe were widely discussed by the event panelists.
Ketenci&Ketenci Partner Ms. Bahar Nalan Danis gave a presentation as one of the panelists, on the harmonization of Turkish Law with EU Acquis from a Corporate Law perspective.
The attendants later enjoyed an Istanbul Bosphorus boat cruise tour.
European Lawyers next annual event will be held in Berlin in May 2016.
Global Citizenship Seminar
We took part in the “Global Citizenship Seminar” organized by Henley&Partners on September 18, 2015 in İstanbul. The event covered the global developments in residence and citizenship planning, international trend of mobility and transnational thinking.
IBA Annual Conference
International Bar Association’s (IBA) Annual Conference took place in Vienna between the dates 4-9th October 2015, where Ketenci&Ketenci ILP was represented by the firm’s Managing Partner Mr. Güvenç Ketenci.
Atlantic Council Energy Summit
Our firm is proud to have participated to the Atlantic Council Energy Summit of 18-20 November 2015, in İstanbul with the attendance of over 400 distinguished speakers from 40 countries. The theme of 2015 Summit was “Building Global Stability and Business Resilience in Volatile Times” focusing on examining business opportunities, economic and energy developments.
Turkish M&A and Private Equity Forum
We attended the “Turkish M&A and Private Equity Forum” of December 3rd, 2015. The Forum was hosted by The Mergermarket Group in Istanbul, bringing together high-level professionals, investors, financial experts and advisors to discuss the M&A climate and future expectations in Turkey.
Turkey-USA Relations Conference
Ketenci&Ketenci ILP had the privilege to take place in the “Turkey-USA Relations Conference” arranged by the Delegation of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) under the aegis of the Ministry of Economy on January 30th, 2015.
Ketenci&Ketenci have been awarded as the Corporate Law Firm of the year in Turkey by the respected Dealmakers magazine. Our strength in Turkish corporate law practice has been recognized now third time in a row.
Events that Ketenci&Ketenci ILP will be attending in September 2016
Global Citizenship Seminar, 17-18 September 2015: https://www.henleyglobal.com/global-citizenship-seminar-istanbul-overview/
UK-TURKEY BUSINESS FORUM hosted by TBCCI, 19 September 2015: http://www.tbcci.org/viewEvent.php?EventID=490
Important Update on Green Card / EB-5 Investor Visa
The EB-5 investor visa is a green card option for a foreign entrepreneur who is willing to buy or start a business as direct Investment or to invest in a job-creating project in the USA.
The bill regulating such program was originally due to lapse on September 30, 2015 but was extended several times over the year. Prior to the expiration of the most recent extension until December 16th 2015, the US Congress was considering various immigration bills that would renovate the EB-5 program. Some of the changes that were being discussed within that scope was as follows;
- Minimum capital threshold requirement would be increased to $800,000 for high unemployment areas and $1,200,000 for other areas
- Targeted employment area definition would be amended in a way that eliminates important metropolitan areas from consideration
- Development of a system to ensure that new EB-5 capital investment projects are pre-approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide security to investors with more predictable USCIS processing of visa applications.
However, the EB-5 program has been renewed in its present state until September 30, 2016 with no changes, as there were many controversies going on the proposed amendments and it became clear that certain points of the draft needed further negotiation, comment, and study.
The upcoming months will be critical in ensuring that members of the EB-5 industry work together to ensure that meaningful reforms take place that will protect all players of the industry.
Litigation, Arbitration, Dispute Resolution & Debt Collection Update
As a top-tier firm in litigation matters in Turkey, we have been advising several high profile leading US corporations and represent our clients before Turkish Courts in relation to the disputes and conflicts with the Turkish parties. We have engaged with complex commercial matters and disputes.
We have also represented our EU and Turkish clients before ICC Tribunal in Geneva.
We frequently represent UK, Swiss and Holland based clients before the Turkish Courts in relation to a trademark infringement case against previous Turkish distributors.
Ketenci & Ketenci is now representing a China based company for an arbitration process in a total value of $200M USD.
Ketenci&Ketenci have commenced to assist a prominent Italian textile company in relation to a debt collection matter in Turkey.
Ketenci&Ketenci represents a UK electronics company on a litigation matter to be pursued in Turkey.
Ketenci&Ketenci assists a leading Dutch construction company with respect to the matters concerning Turkish law. Our advice involves general Turkish corporate, real estate and commercial law advice.
Ketenci&Ketenci have commenced to represent a Turkish exporter company in relation to a debt recovery matter which is to be pursued in several European countries.
Update on M&A and Joint Ventures in Turkey
As Ketenci & Ketenci, we have recently advised a MENA based leading Private Equity fund in relation to their real estate acquisitions in Turkish real estate sector. The total invesment of the group will exceed $50mUSD.
Ketenci & Ketenci have been advising a leading US climate systems company on their merger with an Istanbul based Turkish company.
Update on Energy Investments
Ketenci&Ketenci is advising a leading U.S. energy company in its investments in Turkey and the region. The Company is evaluating investment alternatives into Turkey’s electricity distribution and generation privatizations as well as renewable energy licenses.
We have also been representing Turkish Wind and Solar project owners and matching them with foreign investors. Ketenci&Ketenci now possess Wind, Solar and Hydro power projects in Turkey in excess of €500m EUR.
Ketenci & Ketenci now represents a German solar power giant in their photovaltic investments in Turkey.
As Ketenci & Ketenci, we have advised a leading Spanish Solar Energy company in relation to their solar power and photovaltic investments in Turkey.
We advised one of the leading Chinese Solar Energy companies in relation to their corporate and litigation needs on Turkish law.
Please contact: Ms. Eda Ketenci for further info.
Solar Power Update
The fastest growing renewable energy technology has been the photovoltaic solar energy between 2000-2015 in Turkey. The country’s target is to increase the share of renewable resources in the power generation to 30% of the installed capacity until 2023.
Communiqué on the Unlicensed Electricity Generation in the Electricity Market ("Communiqué") numbered 28783 was published within 2013, in order to regulate the principles to be applied for producing electrical power in Turkey, without the need to obtain a license. The capacity limit for generating electricity without a license was 1 MW under the respective rules.
According to Article 29/1 of the said Communiqué, a power plant cannot be transferred to a person or entity, prior to the “temporary approval” of the project. In practice, investors willing to transfer their projects, were first setting up a company, then obtaining all permits on behalf of the company and eventually transferring their shares in the company to third parties.
This Communiqué was being criticized by the authorities, for not being implemented within the scope of its original aim, which was to provide small and medium consumers with an opportunity to generate their own electricity and to sell surplus energy to the government. Contrary to this purpose, the regulation was primarily attracting large scale investments, with an intention to benefit from the feed-in-tariffs, without having to abide by the licensing procedure. The investors were able to exceed the 1 MW limit, through establishing separate companies and a different consumption unit for each generation facility.
Accordingly, there were proposed changes regarding the Communiqué, to prevent the incorporation of group companies in order to overcome the 1 MW limit as well as unlicensed facilities through share transfers. As a result, an amendment prepared by Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) has been published in the official gazette on March 23rd, 2016.
The amendment has mainly brought in 3 changes;
- Firstly, the new regulation has put a restriction on the total installed capacity of plants held directly or indirectly by the same person or entity. Hence, the total grid allocation to be made to unlicensed energy plants owned by 1 entity cannot exceed 1 MW per substation. Accordingly, the applicants are required to give information regarding their direct and/or indirect shareholding structures.
- Second, project developers are no longer able to sell license before they develop and electrify the project. They can only do so, once after the solar power plant is connected to the grid.
- Lastly, the capacity required for an investor applying for new license must be rated at least 30 kW in order to install a 1MW project.
Wind Energy Update
Wind energy was the highest installed capacity following hydroelectricity within 2015 in Turkey. It reached to a wind capacity of over 4GW by the end of July 2015.
Actually, Turkey’s wind energy potential is higher than its current installed capacity. It is targeted to achieve 20GW of wind capacity within the scope of Turkish government’s “2023 Strategic Vision Project”.
Accordingly, Turkish energy market regulator EMRA announced plans for a 2GW licensing round for wind projects in 2016. Preliminary applications must be submitted between October 3-6, 2016 to EMRA. Such 2 GW of wind power is expected to be operational by 2020.
Natural Gas Update
Turkey has very limited natural gas resources, as a result of which, the internal consumption is mostly provided via imported gas. However, there will be major changes in the upcoming period, as the Eastern Mediterranean natural gas will pass through Turkey.
Actually, Turkey is the perfect location for the creation of a natural gas hub in the region, both for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the natural gas that flows through pipelines.
Within this frame, 'Turkey - EU High Level Energy Dialogue' Meeting was held on January 28th, 2016 in Istanbul. This meeting has a special importance as the EU has initiated the same high level meetings only with Norway, U.S.A. and Algeria. Turkey was indicated as a very reliable partner for the EU to ensure energy supply security, at the meeting.
It is undisputable that Turkey and the EU must work together to establish infrastructure required for the transfer of natural gas, as Turkey will be a route for both Azeri and Turkmen natural gas, in addition to Russian natural gas that it already imports. In conclusion, EU will support the establishment of an energy hub in Turkey as it will help reduce prices by boosting competition and enable Turkey to increase its energy storage capacity for the creation of an energy hub.
On the other hand, the Southern Gas Corridor Project, one of the most complex gas value chains developed in the world, is estimated to be $45 billion. Encompassing more than 3,500 kilometers and crossing 7 countries, the Corridor covers 3 important pipeline projects.
One of these projects is the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (“TANAP”), which will transport the natural gas of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz-2 gas field and other areas of the Caspian Sea primarily to Turkey and Europe. The first stage of the project is anticipated to be finished by the year 2018.
The second significant project is the South Caucasus Pipeline (“SCP”) has been operational since 2006, exporting Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas to Georgia and Turkey.
Lastly the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (“TAP”), which connects with the TANAP at the border of Greece and Turkey, will be spanning Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea and will land in Italy to connect to the Italian natural gas. The TAP is projected to be completed by 2018 as well.
Update on Real Estate
Ketenci&Ketenci assisted a Middle-East based real estate developer, to acquire old buildings in Istanbul’s city center and convert them into upper class residential flats and/or managed rental rooms.
Ketenci&Ketenci teamed up with prominent Turkish real estate developers and European architects as a consortium for the development of a new urban land area in Istanbul. The project intends to modernise one of the oldest districts in Istanbul. It includes construction of new shopping malls, a new inner railway as well as a new airport.
Ketenci&Ketenci have been advicing a prominent Dutch real estate company in relation to their investments in Turkey. The various tasks included investment and corporate advice, mediation and litigation.
Ketenci&Ketenci represents a renowned Italian-Turkish JV in respect to a real estate dispute which is now in the Court process.
Financial Advisory Update
Ketenci&Ketenci has been rendering legal services to a leading Canadian governmental financial institution with respect to aircraft finance matters in Turkey.
We have also recently advised the shareholders of a fast growing Russian Airline Company to clarify the Company strategies going forward, set-up corporate financial reporting standards, study alternate ways of positioning the company going forward and strategic or financial partnership options.
Commercial & Franchise Law Update
Ketenci&Ketenci adviced a London based US-law firm regarding a €300m EUR contractual matter in Turkey.
Ketenci&Ketenci represents Turkish corporate clients acting as distributors with respect to the €5m EUR dispute with Spanish parties.
Ketenci&Ketenci has been representing a leading German IT company in relation to their invesments in Turkey. We provide advice to them on the administrative requirements before the Turkish Authorities.