The Turkish legal informatics project Kanunum was launched in 2008 by Karakullukçu Danışmanlık A.Ş. (Karakullukçu Consulting Inc), a Turkish enterprise based in İstanbul and Eskişehir. The aim was to deliver internet search tools for Turkish legal professionals. In 2010, the first product went live on www.kanunum.com as an online, up-to-date and searchable electronic compilation of current statutes and their complete textual histories, with a collection of high court decisions. Kanunum is based on a simple search facility where users enter natural language queries or complex Boolean queries, and then further narrow down their investigation aided by an analysis of the initial results. In mid-2011 Kanunum became a for-fee service with an expanded database of legislative documents and regulatory texts. As of 2016 most of the leading law firms in İstanbul are Kanunum users and the service is also accessible from a number of university campuses, the Turkish Constitutional Court, the Turkish Parliament and several other public institutions. Kanunum is run by a staff directed by two domain experts (lawyers) and an academic computer scientist specializing in natural language processing (NLP) technologies.
At Kanunum, on the R&D side, we seek to reduce human involvement in the expansion and daily maintenance of legal data and improve our search performance. In 2008-2009, and again in 2012, Karakullukçu became the recipient of TÜBİTAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) R&D grants primarily for its work in NLP. With a team specializing in AI, NLP and legal informatics, our LT work builds on name entity recognition and sentiment recognition techniques to catch legal citations and basic statutory and juridical intentions, and continues addressing the disambiguation problems in text search presented by the agglutinative Turkish language, further improving search performance within legal texts.
As for our general direction, Karakullukçu Consulting Inc is a publisher of legal material in an online electronic environment and, to that end, develops and utilizes its own techniques in the language technologies and legal informatics area. Thus we see modern online legal search services as a continuation of print legal publishing, sharing its goals of presenting legal texts in an accurate, easy-to-understand and useful manner. These being the goals, we have come to define our primary opportunity and challenge in the electronic online environment as one of conversion: we aim to take the unorganized and changing mass of legal electronic material on and off the web and use language and data processing technologies to convert it into an online service that produces--on demand and in response to user queries--user-friendly screens of correct, time-sensitive, and relevant legal texts and contexts.