Principles and procedures regarding the arrest of ships in Turkey are set out in the 5th book of the Turkish Commercial Code ("TCC") numbered 6102. On the other hand, Turkey is a party to the Maritime Liens and Mortgages Convention 1926.


In Turkey, a claimant may only apply to arrest a vessel or a ship with the permission of the Turkish Court via its issue of a warrant of arrest.


How to arrest a ship in Turkey?


The claimant requesting for arrest of a ship should file a written application to the competent court. In order to secure maritime claims, an order may be awarded solely for the arrest of the vessel / ship. Request may not be made for the imposition of a precautionary measure on the vessel or for the preventing of the vessel / ship from sailing in any other manner in respect of such claims.


The provision of sub-paragraph one shall also be applied to maritime claims that have been secured by a contractual or statutory pledge. An order for the arrest of the vessel / ship may not be awarded in respect of any claim except for a maritime claim. That the claim is a maritime claim as enumerated in article 1352 of the TCC shall constitute the cause of arrest. With maritime claims that have not fallen due, request may be made for the arrest of the vessel / ship if the conditions envisaged in paragraph two of article 257 of the Law on Enforcement and Bankruptcy are fulfilled.


Can a ship be arrested in Turkish ports?


A ship can be arrested in Turkey irrespective of its flag. In Turkey, a ship can only be arrested if she is within the Turkish ports’ limits. That’s why an arrest application needs to have an element of surprise. If the adverse party has sufficient notice of the imminent arrest, it may choose to leave port limits before the arrest could be executed or not to come into port at all.


What court is competent to arrest a foreign flagged vessel / ship in Turkey?


In Turkey, an order for the arrest of foreign flagged vessels / ships may only be awarded by the court at the place at which the vessel / ship has been anchored, moored to a buoy or piling, brought alongside or laid on the stocks.


Even if, in accordance with a jurisdiction or arbitration clause included in the relevant contract or a jurisdiction or arbitration contract that has been concluded separately, an arbitration panel or foreign court has jurisdiction to adjudicate the merits of the maritime claim in respect of which the arrest will be effected or the law of a foreign state is applied to the merits of the maritime claim, the competent courts shall have jurisdiction to award an arrest order for the purpose of securing a maritime claim.


Is a claimant / creditor required under Turkish Law to provide evidence in order to obtain an order for arrest?


It is sufficient for the creditor to furnish evidence that its claim is one of the maritime claims enumerated in article 1352 of the TCC and that will enable the court to form an opinion as to its monetary value.


Is a claimant / creditor required under Turkish Law to provide security in order to obtain an order for arrest or, subsequently, to maintain an arrest?


Yes, a claimant should provide security in the amount of 10,000 Special Drawing Rights (SDR) in order to obtain an order for ship or vessel arrest.


What are the Maritime Claims under Turkish Laws?


As per Article 1352 of TCC, “Maritime Claim” means a claim arising out of one or more of the following:


  • Loss or damage caused by the operation of the ship.

  • Loss of life or other personal injury occurring, whether on land or on water, in direct connection with the operation of the ship.

  • Salvage operations or any salvage agreement, including, if applicable, special compensation relating to salvage operations in respect of a ship which by itself or its cargo poses a threat to the environment.

  • Damage or threat of damage caused by the ship to the environment, coastline or related interests; measures taken to prevent, minimize, or remove such damage; compensation for such damage; costs of reasonable measures of reinstatement of the environment actually undertaken or to be undertaken; loss incurred or likely to be incurred by third parties in connection with such damage; and damage, costs, or loss of a similar nature to those identified in this subparagraph.

  • Costs or expenses relating to the raising, removal, recovery, destruction or the rendering harmless of a ship which is sunk, wrecked, stranded or abandoned, including anything that is or has been on board such ship, and costs or expenses relating to the preservation of an abandoned ship and maintenance of its company.

  • Any agreement concluded for the purpose of using or hiring the ship, whether contained in a charter party or otherwise.

  • Any agreement concluded for the purpose of carrying goods or passengers on board the ship, whether contained in a charter party or otherwise.

  • Loss of or damage to or in connection with goods, including luggage, carried on board the ship.

  • General average.

  • Towage.

  • Pilotage.

  • Goods, materials, provisions, bunkers, equipment including containers supplied or services rendered to the ship for its operation, management, preservation or maintenance.

  • Construction, reconstruction, repair, converting or equipping of the ship.

  • Port, canal, dock, harbour and other waterway dues and other charges, and those payable for quarantine.

  • Wages and other sums due to the ship’s company in respect of their employment on the ship, including costs of repatriation and social insurance contributions payable on their behalf, along with claims for other amounts due to them.

  • Disbursements incurred on behalf of the ship or its owners, including loans taken out for the ship.

  • Insurance premiums, including mutual insurance calls, payable by or for the account of the shipowner.

  • Any and all commission, brokerage or agency fee payable in respect of the ship by or for the account of the shipowner.

  • Any dispute as to ownership or possession of the ship.

  • Any dispute between co-owners of the ship as to the employment or earnings of the ship.

  • A mortgage, hypothèque or a charge of the same nature on the ship.

  • Any dispute arising out of a contract for the sale of the ship




In this post, we aimed to explain the law and procedure of a ship arrest or vessel arrest in Turkey in a nutshell. This article is provided by YÖNET Attorneys at Law to keep its clients and other interested parties informed of current legal developments that may affect or otherwise be of interest to them. The information is not intended as legal advice or legal opinion and should not be construed as such.

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