An analysis of the key challenges to the widespread use of mediation in the Turkish construction industry

Ilter D., Dikbas A.

International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, vol.1, no.2, pp.143-155, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier


Purpose – The Turkish Ministry of Justice submitted the Draft Law on mediation in legal disputes, which was predicated on the European Council (EC) Directive on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters, to the Turkish Parliament in June 2008. Contentious arguments have followed on the provisions of the Draft Law as well as on the overall applicability of mediation in Turkey. The purpose of this paper is to examine the context surrounding the new mediation phenomenon in order to identify the key challenges awaiting its widespread use in the Turkish construction industry. Design/methodology/approach – Two complementary approaches were adopted in this paper. First, an analysis of the most debated papers of the Draft Law is carried out to determine the potential problems associated with the legislation by making comparisons with the EC mediation directive and mediation laws in some of the member states. Second, a series of structured interviews are organized among the Turkish construction industry to gain better insight on prevalent perceptions of mediation, assess pertinent demand and determine the sector specific challenges. Findings – The comparative analysis of the Draft Law and the empirical results obtained from the industry indicate a promising platform for the deployment of mediation. However, the adverse attitude of lawyers, inadequate financial incentives, the lack of an industry specific institutional framework and low level of knowledge on mediation in the industry hinder wide acceptance despite the growing interest, as evidenced in the results of the interviews. Originality/value – This paper is aimed to be a timely contribution to the process of the establishment of mediation in the Turkish construction industry. The paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the Draft Law through comparison with other legislation and furnishes original data on the perceptions of mediation in the Turkish construction industry in the quest for making projections for its further development. © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited