During the pandemic arising due to Covid-19, lawyers had great difficulties in attending the hearings held in different provinces as long-distance travels were banned in various times across Turkey and it created a high level of health-related risks during times even such ban was not implemented.
Furthermore, it has become riskier to visit the court houses to attend the hearings even in the same province during these times when the virus has become more and more effective.
Following such developments, the e-hearing application, employed based on the mutual consent of the parties before (which was not seen to have been realized in practice), is now allowed to be employed upon the request of either of the parties and based on the decision of the judge, thanks to the Law put into effect on July 28, 2020. In line with this regulation, witnesses and experts may be heard at their respective place by audio-visual means.
With its first trials held in 5 courts at the Western Court House of Ankara, the e-hearings were started to be employed in 42 courts across various court houses in Istanbul as of October 20. The Ministry of Justice aims to increase the number of courts with e-hearing system in place to 200 by the end of this year, and to extend this application across Turkey as much as possible in 2021.