It is very understandable for people to mix up civil law and criminal law. But these two areas of law are different. But there are cases where there is an overlap between civil and criminal law.

Criminal law involves alleged violations of the Criminal Code. When a person is accused of violating a criminal law, they are charged with a specific crime pursuant to specific law.


Civil Law involves civil matters, disputes and other matters.  It is the law that pertains to persons, things, and relationships that develop among them, excluding not only criminal law but also commercial law, labor law, etc.


Title of actions also are different. Criminal actions usually referred as charges, civil actions generally referred as lawsuits or civil actions.


In criminal law parties are government versus the defendant. There are also victim, harmed by the crime (aggrieved party) and financially responsible. On the other hand, in a civil action, the two parties are plaintiff versus defendant.


When someone is convicted of a crime, they are issued a sentence about the crime. This sentence is in Turkish even if you are a foreigner. It is better to directly contact an English-speaking criminal lawyer to understand the situation and have a professional to explain it to you.


Penalty will be depending on the crime, the person’s criminal history, and other factors. This may include jail sentence, fines, etc.


Violations of civil laws or legal principals generally result in consequences such as compensation or an order to perform a specific action. For example, if you are sued for alimony, you are not sent to jail by the Family Court. However, you may be ordered to pay the plaintiff a specific Turkish Lira amount.


If you want to press charges against someone, you can contact an English-speaking criminal lawyer. They can guide you and handle the process for you by declaring to the law enforcement or your prosecutor’s office.


This is intended for general informational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.  If you want to contact an English-speaking lawyer in Istanbul for more information you can contact our office.