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Liability for Defective Goods and Consumer Rights in Turkish Law


Responsibility for defective goods is regulated in Turkish legal system. When a sales contract is made between the parties, certain rights and obligations arise for both parties. In this context, the seller has certain obligations. One of these obligations is the responsibility of the seller for defective goods. The seller is not only obliged to deliver the sold item to the buyer but also has a responsibility for defects and faults. The seller should not make misleading statements. The seller’s responsibility for defective goods is significant in movable property. The responsibility of the seller for defective goods is extensively regulated in the Turkish Special Provisions of the Law of Obligations by the legislator. Especially under the Turkish Consumer Protection Law, the consumer will have various rights when they receive defective goods or misleading statements.

Defect can be defined as the absence of good qualities that should be present in goods of the same kind, as well as the presence of undesirable qualities that should not be present. Defect can be material, legal, economic, or moral. In practice, material defects are often seen, such as the product being broken, torn, stained, or defective.

As a general rule, the seller is not obliged to guarantee that the goods sold do not have any deficiencies that reduce their value or usefulness. This obligation exists by law, and the seller is responsible for this obligation even if they do not explicitly undertake it. The buyer and the seller can agree between themselves that the seller will not be held responsible for defective goods. However, if the seller is grossly negligent, this agreement will be invalid under the law.


1. The defect must exist at the time of delivery of the product to the buyer.

For the seller to be held responsible for defects, the defect must exist in the product at the moment when it is transferred to the buyer and when the benefit and risk pass to the buyer. If a defect arises after delivery, the seller is not liable for it. For example, the goods must be defective when they are delivered to the buyer. If they become defective after use, the seller is not responsible for it.

It should be noted that a quantity shortfall is not considered a defect. The seller may be held responsible for partial performance due to a quantity shortfall, but it does not give rise to liability for defects. Similarly, if another item is delivered instead of the sold item (wrong product), there is no defect.

2. The defect must be a significant defect.

The presence of a defect in the product is not sufficient to hold the seller responsible. This defect must have a significant quality. For a defect to be considered significant, it must result in a significant decrease or elimination of the value or suitability of the product. For example, having an imperceptible scratch on a product is an insignificant defect. In this regard, the seller is not responsible for insignificant defects. However, if the provisions of Consumer Law are applied, the seller is responsible regardless of whether the defect is significant or insignificant. You can obtain detailed information about the topic from a movable property lawyer in Istanbul and protect your rights effectively.

3. The defect must be hidden, and the buyer should not be aware of this defect.

The hidden nature of the defect means that the buyer should not be aware of this defect. Especially, if this defect is an open defect and can be seen at first glance, and despite that, the buyer accepts and receives the goods, the buyer cannot hold the seller responsible for this defect afterward. However, if this defect is open but can be noticed through inspection, and if such inspection has not been conducted, the seller must explicitly undertake that there is no such defect in order for the seller to be held responsible for this defect.

4. The liability for defects should not be eliminated by contract.

Liability for defects can be eliminated by the parties. This is called an agreement of irresponsibility. The parties can make a contract regarding this matter. However, if the seller is grossly negligent, this contract is not taken into account, and the seller remains liable for defects.


The buyer cannot hold the seller liable for defects without fulfilling the burdens prescribed by law. These burdens include:

– The burden of inspecting the purchased item
– The burden of notifying the defects to the seller

The buyer must inspect the purchased goods as soon as they have the opportunity. When it comes to hidden defects, understanding such defects requires time, but in the case of obvious defects, this period is shorter. For example, if someone buys a coffee machine, keeps it packaged for years, and then realizes that one of the buttons is broken, the seller is not held responsible for this defect because the product was not inspected in a timely manner.

As a general rule, the buyer should notify the detected defect to the seller within a reasonable period of time. In commercial sales, this period is 2 days for obvious defects and 8 days for hidden defects. If the notification and inspection process are not carried out in a timely manner, the buyer is deemed to have accepted the defect. However, if the seller is grossly negligent, the buyer’s failure to fulfill these burdens does not affect the seller’s liability. The liability of a grossly negligent seller continues.


When the aforementioned conditions are met, the buyer has certain rights against the seller. The buyer generally has the right to choose among different options and can make a claim against the seller based on one of these rights.


1. The right to return the defective goods and cancel the sales contract
2. The right to request a price reduction
3. The right to request the replacement of the defective goods with a non-defective equivalent
4. The right to request free repair of the defective goods

In addition to these optional rights, the buyer can also demand compensation for the damages suffered from the seller. The buyer has the right to claim compensation.

The buyer should exercise their optional right. Generally, if they choose and use one of these rights, they cannot change it later. In other words, if the buyer initially requests a price reduction, they cannot later withdraw from it and request free repair. This optional right is generally used once and then becomes exhausted.

This optional right must be exercised within a certain period of time. Claims arising from defects will be time-barred after 2 years from the delivery of the product, so the buyer must exercise their optional right within 2 years. Otherwise, it will be time-barred. However, if the defect in question has been concealed through gross negligence or fraud, the limitation periods may not apply.

For more detailed information on liability for defective goods, you can contact us.


“Plaintiff claims that they purchased the subject vehicle from the defendant for a price of 38,000.00 TL. They discovered that the vehicle was a total loss when they tried to get insurance for it after the purchase. Due to the high price at which the defective vehicle was sold, they suffered a loss of 11,000.00 TL. They request the court to order the defendant to pay this amount, along with legal interest from the date of the notice.
The defendant argues that they informed the plaintiff about all the features of the vehicle before the sale and claims that the plaintiff knowingly inspected the vehicle and purchased it despite being aware of the damages. They request the dismissal of the lawsuit. The plaintiff received the vehicle from the notary on February 8, 2012, and immediately notified the defendant about the hidden defect through a notice dated February 20, 2012, and subsequently filed the present lawsuit based on this defect. Although the court concluded that even though the purchase price of the vehicle was lower than its market value and the plaintiff could have conducted a service inquiry before the purchase, it does not constitute evidence that the plaintiff knew about the defect. The defendant failed to prove that they informed the plaintiff about the vehicle being a total loss before the sale. The sold vehicle is legally defective, and the defect was concealed from the plaintiff. The defendant seller has a liability for the defect.”

Court of Law 2014/37427 E., 2015/28490 K.

“The plaintiff states that they purchased a Bosch brand dishwasher, which was imported by the defendant company, from the co-defendant …, on August 28, 2008. They claim that the malfunctions started within a year of the purchase, and the machine scratches porcelain, glass, and cups and does not wash the dishes properly. They argue that despite the technical service performing several repairs, the defect could not be rectified, and they have the right to request the replacement of the faulty product with a new one or a refund of the purchase price. Defendant … Appliances Industry and Trade Inc. argues that the two-year statute of limitations has passed since the delivery of the product and, furthermore, there is no defect in the product. They request the dismissal of the lawsuit, while the other defendant did not respond to the lawsuit. According to the … document available in the case file, the warranty period for the subject machine is 3 years, and this period has not expired as of the date of the lawsuit. The defendant’s liability for the defect continues.”

Court of Law 2012/427 E., 2012/6118 K.

“The plaintiff states that after receiving the bedroom set they purchased from the defendant company for 3,350 TL on 07/05/2011, they discovered certain defects in the set, and despite contacting the company several times, the issues were not resolved, and they were not provided with the warranty coverage. They demand the return of the defective product and the payment of 3,350.00 TL, the amount they paid. The defendant requests the dismissal of the lawsuit. The lawsuit concerns the claim for the return of the purchase price of the defective product. The court, relying on the expert report dated 25/06/2014, accepted that there were hidden defects that would not be noticeable to an average consumer and ruled in favor of the plaintiff based on the timeliness of the lawsuit.”

Court of Law 2015/5119 E., 2016/11049 K.

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Liability for Defective Goods and Consumer Rights in Turkish Law

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