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Law is a normative science that regulates the actions and relationships of individuals, society, and the state. It is supported by public power, created by authorized bodies, and indicates how one should generally behave or not behave towards others, covering all possible scenarios. Law aims to ensure common good and common benefit in individual-society-state relationships.
The word “law” comes from the Arabic root “hak” (حق) and is its plural form. According to the Turkish Language Association, law is “the set of laws that regulate society and determine the sanctioning power of the state.” In addition, the term “rights” is also associated with law.
Due to the evolving nature of law over time, a comprehensive definition has not yet been established. Immanuel Kant stated, “Jurists are still searching for the definition of law.” The most widely accepted definition today is: “A set of rules that regulates relationships in a specific society at a specific time, and is enforced by state coercion (sanction).”
To express it in a broader sense, technically, law is a set of binding, general, abstract, and continuous rules created to regulate the relationships of individuals living in an organized society with each other or with the groups formed by individuals themselves, aiming to ensure the security of individuals and human rights, supported by the power of the state.
As a scientific discipline, law is fundamentally divided into two categories. Generally, the part of the law that deals with interpersonal relationships is called Private Law, while the part that regulates relationships between individuals and the state or the institutions that make up the state is called Public Law. This distinction dates back to Roman law (ius privatum-ius publicum). Civil Law, Commercial Law, and International Private Law are the main sub-branches of private law, while Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, and Administrative Law are the main sub-branches of public law.
Public law includes rules related to the organization, functioning, and services provided by the state and other public institutions and organizations. In democratic societies, the principles of legal security and legality are primarily dominant in public law. On the other hand, private law regulates the relationships between individuals in the narrow sense. The dominant principle is freedom of will (Privata autonomie).