“Bağlantılı Gemi”nin İhtiyati Haczi Yolunda Perdenin Kaldırılması TeorisiEcehan Yeşilova Aras
Geminin ihtiyati haczi bakımından Türk Ticaret Kanunu’nun 1369 uncu maddesi “bağlantılı gemi”nin (associated ship) ihtiyati haczine olanak tanımamıştır. Türk Ticaret Kanunu’nun anılan maddesi, 1999 tarihli “Gemilerin İhtiyati Haczine İlişkin Milletlerarası Sözleşme”den tercüme yoluyla alındığı için çalışmamızın odaklandığı yer, özellikle bu Milletlerarası Sözleşmenin 3 üncü maddesinin ikinci fıkrası olmuştur. Anılan 3 üncü maddenin ikinci fıkrası, birinci fıkranın giriş cümlesi ile birlikte okunduğunda görülecektir ki hüküm, üzerinde deniz alacağı doğmuş gemiden başka bir geminin ihtiyati haczini düzenlemek üzere cümleye başlamış fakat kapsamına sadece “kardeş geminin” (sister ship) ihtiyati haczini dâhil etmiş; bağlantılı gemiyi metin içerisinde anmamıştır. Çalışmanın öncelikli amacı, Milletlerarası Sözleşme hazırlayıcılarının bu metnin altına sakladıkları özü ortaya çıkarmak ve maddede bağlantılı gemi ile ilgili “bilinçli bir boşluk” mu yoksa “vasıflı suskunluk” mu olduğunu saptamaktır. Tarihsel yorum neticesinde elde edilecek sonuç; Milletlerarası Sözleşme hazırlayıcılarının, bağlantılı gemilerin ihtiyati haczini yasaklama iradesinde olmadığı ama bu hususun somut olarak düzenlenmesine de gerek duymadıkları bir konu olduğu yönünde çıkarsa, çalışmanın nihai hedefi perdenin kaldırılması teorisinin yavru tek gemi şirketlerine uygulanması ile borçlu olarak gözükmeyen yavru tek gemi şirketinin ve hatta hâkim kişi veya hâkim şirketin gemisinin de “bağlantılı gemi” olarak ihtiyaten haczedilmesini sağlayabilmektir. 1999 Konvansiyonu’nun 3(2) maddesinden doğrudan çeviri yoluyla Türk Ticaret Kanunu’nun madde 1369(2) hükmünü oluşturan düzenleme, “kardeş” geminin ihtiyati haczi olarak anılmakta ise de metinde yer alan “sahip olmak veya ait olmak” kavramının derinliğine sadece hükmün lafzı dikkate alınarak karar vermek olası değildir. Türk Medeni Kanunu’nun 1(1) inci hükmü uyarınca, hakim hukuku sözüyle ve özüyle uygular. Metin duvarını aşıp, Konvansiyon hazırlayıcılarının hangi kelimelerle yetindiklerini, ötesini düzenlemek isteseler de kavramların veya sözcüklerin yetersiz kaldığını tarihsel yorum açığa çıkarmaktadır. Bu açıdan, hazırlık çalışmaları ışığında hüküm değerlendirildiğinde, “kardeş” gemi hükmünün altında lex fori’nin izin verdiği ölçüde de “bağlantılı” geminin ihtiyati haczinin de mümkün olduğu görülecektir.
The Theory of Lifting the Corporate Veil for the Arrest of “Associated Ships”Ecehan Yeşilova Aras
In terms of arrest, Article 1369 of the Turkish Commercial Code does not allow the arrest of the “associated ship.” The mentioned article is translated from Article 3 (2) of the 1999 Arrest Convention (hereinafter “Convention”). This provision was included to regulate the arrest of a ship other than the ship on which there is a maritime claim but encompassed only the arrest of the sister ship within its ambit. The main purpose of this study is to determine whether there is a conscious legal gap or qualified silence in the article regarding the associated ship. If the historical interpretation shows that the Convention’s drafters did not intend to prohibit the arrest of associated ships, the study’s ultimate goal is showing how the theory of lifting the corporate veil is applicable to single-ship subsidiary companies. It enables the arrest of ships of single-ship subsidiary companies, which as an associated ship does not seem to be liable. Article 3 (2) of the Convention is described as the arrest of the sister ship; however, it is not possible to determine the scope of the owning or belonging concept solely through the wording of the provision. Under provision 1(1) of the Turkish Civil Code, the judge applies the law based on its common meaning or interpretation. A historical analysis reveals the wording that the drafters of the Convention were satisfied with and that the concepts or words were insufficient even if they wanted to make a different draft. When the provision is evaluated in light of the original draft, it can be seen that under the sister ship provision, the arrest of the associated ship is also allowed to the extent permitted by lex fori.
In light of Article 1369 of the Turkish Commercial Code and the wording of Article 3 of the 1999 Arrest Convention (hereinafter “Convention”), arrest of an associated ship was not allowed. Because the relevant article of the Turkish Commercial Code is taken from the Convention, this study pays particular attention to Article 3 (2) of the Convention.
The main purpose of the study is to reveal the intent hidden by the drafters in this Convention through the method of historical interpretation, examining the provision and determining whether there is a conscious legal gap or qualified silence regarding the associated ship in Article 3 (2). If this leads to the conclusion that there is, in fact, a conscious legal gap, it will be shown that the Convention leaves leeway to fill this gap to lex fori. If, however, it is seen as qualified silence, this will show that the Convention does not allow the application of arrest on associated ships, and therefore, this provision was deliberately omitted.
If historical interpretation shows that the drafters of the Convention were unwilling to prohibit the arrest of associated ships and that this issue was not included within the scope of the Convention because international unity was not seen as a necessary objective, the study’s ultimate goal is the application of the “corporate veil theory” to the subsidiary companies to enable the arrest of the ship of the single-ship subsidiary company, which does not appear to be indebted, as an “associated” ship.
At the Diplomatic Conference, which was the final stage of the preparation phase of the Convention, it was deemed appropriate for the lex fori to decide whether it is necessary to identify the real owner of the debt by lifting the corporate veil, although this was not clearly expressed in the JIGE draft at the time. When this provision was brought up for discussion, the UK delegation presented an alternative text, which through an explicit provision made possible the arrest of associated ships to be identified by lifting the corporate veil. Simultaneously, CMI proposed an addition to the provision 3(2) of the JIGE draft, which clearly refers to lex fori, that said, “Whether a ship belongs to the person responsible for maritime claim is determined by the law of the State to which the arrest will be applied.” This addendum sought a compromise between the provision in the JIGE draft and the alternative text presented by the UK delegation. Thereupon, the discussions continued as to whether it would be appropriate to enable the arrest of associated ships by making a clear reference to the law of the state party or by including a clear provision on lifting the corporate veil in the Convention.
Although the majority passed on the latter option, they nonetheless argued that the concepts used would pose practical difficulties or that consensus could not be achieved given the various legal systems. In response to these criticisms, the UK delegation submitted a new proposal for discussion.
However, this version of the text aroused even more concern because it clearly mentioned “effective control” and “connection” along with the concept of control. It was considered by the majority as too vague and dangerous to include in the Convention. Instead, the text of the article was accepted in its simplest form, as it was in the JIGE draft, with the concept of ownership and no clear reference to the lex fori.
However, the participating states, despite their different legal systems had certain concerns in common: i. whether this type of corporate law issue had a place in an international convention; ii. the challenge of choosing concepts (control, effective control, authority, connection, etc.) that allow the corporate veil to be lifted; iii. clearly defining the selected concepts and preparing a list of acts that would guide the court in the substantive case; iv. the necessity of maintaining a balance between different interest groups in the maritime sector; and v. the most appropriate solution was leaving the issue to the lex fori.
Considering the current provision 3(2) of the Convention, the emphasis in the text rests on the concept of ownership, but evaluating the concept of ownership is left to the legal system of the relevant state.