People have been saying the law’s an ass since Mr. Bumble coined the phrase in Charles Dickens’ "Oliver Twist," but U.S. rockers Garbage and Megadeth might begin to believe that Turkish law is even slower than an ass.
It’s nearly two years since they began legal action to recover money owed for their performances at Rock Istanbul 2005, the festival that bankrupted promoter Boray Dundar and left bands and suppliers out of pocket.
The cases have just been adjourned until November 20 for Megadeth and December 7 for Garbage, almost two years since the Istanbul-based Charmenko – which booked both acts on the Rock Istanbul bill – began trying to recover the money on their behalf.
In that time, the focus of the legal action has switched from Dundar and event partner Fil Yapim to TicketTurk, the ticketing company believed to be close to selling out to the German giant CTS Eventim.
The Istanbul Court ruling that granted Charmenko leave to seize Dundar and Yapim’s proverbial "goods and chattels" didn’t help because the bailiffs soon discovered that neither party had any goods or chattels.
When they arrived at Yapim’s Istanbul office, the recovery men found it had been boarded up and had an eviction notice nailed to the door.
Charmenko claims it’s also in possession of written statements from TicketTurk managing director Gulseren Onanc that guarantee that her company would meet the fees for Garbage and Megadeth, although she’s told Pollstar she never made such a commitment.
The company’s lawyers at Eckmecki & Karakus aren’t going that far. They have said "there is no agreement for TicketTurk to pay that would be considered legal and binding under Turkish law."
Both cases against TicketTurk are in the commercial court, which has a backlog of about 40,000 to look at. The cases have stalled because the judge is waiting on expert opinion on whether Onanc’s undertakings are genuine and legally binding.
The experts’ reports were due in time for hearings that were in the court agenda for late September and early October, but the country’s summer judicial recess has resulted in them being delayed and the cases being adjourned to the new dates.