We share our knowledge and expertise to update our community and clients about legal developments in Turkey.

Data Breach Notification

The Law requires data controllers to notify the relevant data subject and the Board as soon as possible after becoming aware of a data breach. In its decision dated January 24, 2019, and numbered 2019/9, the Board clarified the rules and procedures applicable to data breach incidents. The Board took the GDPR approach regarding the timing of breach notifications and clarified that “as soon as possible” within the Law must be interpreted as 72 hours from becoming aware of a…»

Turkish DPA Fines Meta and WhatsApp Try 5,3m For Failure to Fulfill Their Registration Obligation to the VERBIS

The Turkish Personal Data Protection Authority (the “Turkish DPA”),concerning the investigation initiated ex officio, into Meta and WhatsApp which processes the personal data of the data subjects in Turkey and is subject to the provisions of the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 (“Law”) over imposed an administrative fine of TRY 2,665,000 (approx. EUR 128,560) separately for failure to fulfill their Data Controller’s Registry (VERBIS) registration and…»

Data Controllers’ Registry (VERBIS)

According to Article 16 of the Law, an obligation to register in the Data Controllers Registry (“VERBIS”) has been introduced for data controllers. In 2018, the Board issued decisions granting exemptions from the registration obligation to specific professional groups, associations, and political parties. The Board also granted a general exemption to data controllers residing in Turkey with less than 50 employees and less than TRY 25 million on their balance sheets. Data…»

Consequences of Data Breach

The Law provides for both administrative fines and criminal liability where data breaches have occurred. Regarding criminal penalties, the Law refers to the relevant provisions of the Turkish Criminal Code that details sanctions for the unlawful recording, disclosing, or transferring of personal data. In addition to criminal sanctions, the Law also contains provisions detailing administrative fines applicable in a breach. Four breaches have been defined under the Law: The…»

Judicial Review of Board Decisions

The Law does not include an explicit provision concerning the process for appealing Board decisions that impose administrative fines. However, it is accepted that criminal courts of peace are the authorised courts under Law No. 5326 on Misdemeanours dated 30/3/2005 since the title of Article 18 of the Law is “Misdemeanours,” and administrative fines are issued as per Article 18 of the Law. With this in mind, decisions imposing behavioural sanctions can be appealed before…»

Court of Cassation Overturns Longstanding Precedents on Cumulative Protection Afforded by Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition Provisions

Cumulative protection is no longer available in light of a recent Court of Cassation decision Trademarks are protected under the IP Code, but “name[s], title[s] or trademark[s]” are not covered by the unfair competition provisions under the new Commercial Code The decision will have a serious impact on pending cases In a recent decision that challenges longstanding precedents, the Court of Cassation has ruled that, in cases where trademark infringement has been found, it…»

Guidelines on Cookies Applications

The Board prepared the Guidelines on Cookies Applications (“Guidelines”) explaining cookies and practical advice for data controllers who process personal data through cookies. The Guidelines was published on the official website of the DPA on June 20, 2022. Within the Guidelines, cookies in general and their types are regulated. Moreover, the types of cookies are categorised based on their timeframe, intended purpose and parties. The relationship between the Electronic…»

Planned Amendments to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data

Processing Sensitive Personal Data Amendments to the law have been drafted by the Board and introduce some modifications to specific disputed provisions of the Law. These have been presented to relevant institutions and organisations for their consideration. The articles to be amended are Article 6, regulating the legal grounds for processing sensitive personal data and Article 9, regulating the transfer of personal data abroad. Under Article 6 of the Law, explicit consent…»

Turkish DPA Fines Tiktok Try 1.75m For Inadequate Data Security Measures

The Turkish Personal Data Protection Authority (the “Turkish DPA”) published, on 1 March 2023, a summary of its Decision No. 2023/134 concerning the investigation into TikTok over its data protection measures and imposed a fine of TRY 1,750,000 (approximately EUR 87,500) against the company. The decision of the Turkish DPA is very significant especially for service providers also targeting Turkish residents and children in Turkey. Also the Turkish DPA is not the first…»

Evaluation of the Decision to Block Access to Ekşi Sözlük within the Scope of Freedom of Expression

Most recently, the Information and Communication Technologies Authority ("ICTA") blocked access to Ekşi Sözlük, one of today's largest internet communities. Although the access ban was canceled by the decision of the Ankara 4th Criminal Court of Peace, as a result of the objection to the decision, the Ankara 5th Criminal Court of Peace accepted the objection and finalized the decision to impose an access ban. With the finalization of the decision to block access to Ekşi…»

The Advertisement Board’s Expanded Power: Blocking Access

The sanctions that the Advertisement Board has traditionally applied are the levying of administrative fines, correction decisions and precautionary or temporary suspension decisions against advertisements which violate the legal rules for advertisements broadcasted in any media including those found on the internet. In addition to these, the Advertisement Board has now been authorized to block access to online broadcasts or contents which are found to violate advertising…»

Regulations on Consumer Reviews and Complaints

Specific rules for consumer reviews and publishing consumer complaints were introduced into Turkish law by amendments to the Advertising Regulation effective as of March 2022. The amendments establish fundamental principles regarding consumer reviews. Some of them are as follows: Consumer reviews may be published by only those who have purchased the relevant product or service. Consumers should be informed of the principles for publishing consumer reviews either directly on…»

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