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trust (tesis), term used instead of “foundation” in the period between the 1926 Turkish Civil Code (Türk Medeni Kanunu; TMK) until the 1967 Foundations Code No. 903.

Criticisms of alleged abuses of the pious foundation system predated the declaration of the Republic by some way, and debates on the need for new regulations on their legal status had long been on the agenda. As controversy raged in the Republican era, new regulations were introduced to the TMK in order to centralize administration and liquidate foundations operating outside their remit. These regulations were listed in Articles 73 through to 81 of the Act and used the term “trust” rather than “foundation” to designate “the allocation of certain properties to specific purposes.” The preference for trust was explained by pointing out the additional sense of “retention and inhibition” implied by the word “foundation”, the suggestion being that the obstruction of economic potential in Islamic societies inhibited the economic development of these societies. Past abuses by pious foundations constituted another reason for this preference.

In the 41-year period between 1926 and 1967, 202 trusts were founded. The comperatively low number of "trusts" formed during this period can be attributed to the economic conditions of the period as well as the regulations and inspections of the TMK. Of these early trusts, 165 (83 %) were still active in 2009. 
According to the TMK, trusts were established by a “trust deed” or “testament”; those of the “mazbut” (fixed) type were administered by the Foundations Directorate General, whereas the “mülhak” (inheritable) were administered by the founders and their heirs. The Act classified trusts as either “family trusts” or “pious trusts”. In addition, there were facilities established for purposes of “education” and “health” etc.
This type of establishment was defined as “foundation” in the 1967 Foundations Act. (also see foundation)

Abadan Unat, Nermin

Political scientist who received the Vehbi Koç Award for education in 2012.