“Maritime Commercial Law” is a branch of law that regulates commercial relationships occurring at sea, encompassing ship management, ship transportation, maritime accidents, and other maritime trade activities. The Turkish Commercial Code contains significant regulations related to this field.


Some important topics in Turkish Commercial Code regarding Maritime Commercial Law:


Ship: According to the Turkish Commercial Code, a “ship” is defined as any vessel allocated for the purpose that has the capability to move on water, even if it cannot move by itself. Ships are registered in the ship registry and are subject to specific rules.

Port of Registry: Every ship must have a port of registry, which is the port where the ship’s voyages are managed. The port of registry is written in clear letters on the stern of the ship and is registered in the ship registry.

Ship Registry: The registry where ship records are kept. The coasts of Turkey are divided into ten registry offices according to the Ship Registry Regulation: İskenderun, Mersin, Antalya, İzmir, Çanakkale, Bandırma, İstanbul, Zonguldak, Samsun, Trabzon. Commercial ships are obligated to register in the ship registry, and various records related to ship ownership are maintained in the registry.

Ship Mortgage: A type of mortgage established on the ship and ship shares between the shipowner and the creditor. Ship mortgages are established by contract and registered in the ship registry. This mortgage covers the ship itself, lease and freight incomes, insurance compensation, and the sale price if the ship is sold.

Right to Hoist the Turkish Flag: Turkish ships must meet certain conditions to hoist the Turkish flag. These conditions include eligibility for flag hoisting, not being registered in a foreign ship registry, and being a registrable ship.

Shipowner (Ship Operator): The shipowner is the owner and operator of a commercial ship, running it for profit. Shipowners are often referred to as operators (Armatör) as well.


Freight Contracts: Freight contracts regulate the transportation of goods by sea. These contracts cover issues such as transportation fees, loading time, and method.

Passenger Transportation Contract at Sea: A contract where the carrier undertakes, for a fee, to transport passengers and their baggage to a specific destination by sea. Passengers have obligations such as paying the fare and complying with ship rules.

General Average: General average pertains to the sharing of damages and expenses that arise due to extraordinary circumstances at sea among ship, freight, and cargo owners.

Collision: Collision refers to the situation where two or more ships collide with each other. Damages resulting from collisions are distributed among the shipowners, and specific rules govern such incidents.