Edition 28: 6 September 2016
Editorial Team:
Dr. E. Seyfi Moroğlu, LL.M., Işık Özdoğan, LL.M. and Bora İkiler, LL.M.
Implications for Companies of Legislative Changes Made During Turkey’s State of Emergency

A range of legislative changes have been made in Turkey within the scope of the 90 days of State of Emergency declared throughout the country on 21 July 2016. Notable aspects include the Presidency of Telecommunication and Communication being closed down, measures introduced for assets transfers from closed institutions to government bodies, as well as the suspension period being extended to 30 days for transactions suspected of being related to money laundering or terror financing.

Presidency of Telecommunication and Communication Closed

Many amendments have been made to the Law No. 5651 on Regulation of Publications on the Internet and Suppression of Crimes Committed by Means of Such Publications.

The Presidency of Telecommunication and Communication was previously authorized to determine and listen to communication conducted via telecommunications. However, the body has now been closed down, with all duties and authority moved to the Information and Communication Technologies Authority.

Measures for assets of institutions have been closed and transferred to the General Directorate for Foundations or Treasury 

Many institutions, entities, private radio and television channels, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses and distribution channels have been closed down after the coup attempt.

The activities of these entities have ceased and they will be deregistered from the trade registry. The assets of these institutions apart from those transferred by the General Directorate for Foundations or the Ministry of Finance will be deemed as transferred to the Treasury without any charge.

Parties who are owed debts or obligations by these closed institutions can apply to the General Directorate for Foundations or the Ministry of Finance by 16 October 2016, supplying convincing records, papers and documents to support their claim.

The General Directorate for Foundations and Ministry of Finance are respectively authorized to determine the movables, immovable, assets, receivables, rights, documents and records for closed institutions (transferred assets). They can also designate the scope of assets as deemed fit, together with administration and actual transfer of assets to public bodies. 

Suspension Period for Suspicious Transactions Extended to 30 days

The Minister of Finance is authorized to suspend a transaction for seven working days if it is suspected of being connected to money laundering or terror financing. The suspension period has been extended to 30 working days during the State of Emergency, without needing any further court decision.

Please see these links for the full text of relevant legislation (only available in Turkish).

– Decree Law No 670 regarding the Measures to be Taken within the scope of State of Emergency (Official Gazette number 29804, published on 17 August 2016)

– Decree No 671 regarding the Arrangement on Some Institutions and Entities within the scope of the State of Emergency (Official Gazette number 29804, published on 17 August 2016)

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Turkey Supports Infrastructure Investments by Establishing Sovereign Wealth Fund

Turkey has established sovereign wealth fund, with a primarily domestic focus. The fund is expected to be worth 200 billion TL and is intended to generate long-term and low-cost finance for strategic, large-scale investments, contributing to Turkey’s development. The Turkish government prioritized the fund’s establishment in recent years in order to provide foreign financing for planned infrastructure projects. The fund is expected to be ranked in the Top 20 sovereign wealth funds globally, based on the value of announced assets under management.

The Law on the Establishment of Turkish Wealth Fund (“Law”) was published in Official Gazette number 29813 on 26 August 2016.

The Law incorporates a wealth fund management company (“Fund Company”), responsible for establishing and managing the Turkish Wealth Fund (“Wealth Fund”) as an umbrella fund for other subsidiary funds to be incorporated in the future.

The Fund Company is empowered to undertake:

– Sale and purchase of:

– Shares in Turkish or foreign companies.

– Shares and debt instruments issued in Turkey or abroad.

– Capital market instruments issued on the basis of precious metals.

– Lease certificate and specially-designed foreign investment instruments etc.

– All types of money market transactions.

– Valuation of real estate and real estate-based rights and intangible rights.

– All types of project development, project-based fund raising, providing external project loans, and procuring sources by other methods.

– Realizing business and financial operations in Turkish and international markets.

– Participating in domestic investments and investments in international fields, together with other countries or/and foreign companies.

The Fund Company has an initial share capital of TRY 50 million, covered by the Privatization Administration. It will operate under the Prime Ministry and the Prime Minister will appoint the Fund Company’s board members and general manager.

A large list of assets are already planned to be transferred to the Fund Company:

– Institutions and assets in the scope of privatization program, and cash surplus from the Privatization Fund.

– Surplus income and assets of state institutions to be determined by Council of Ministers.

– Finance and sources procured by other methods, from domestic and global money and capital markets.

Although the Fund Company completely state owned, it will operate like an ordinary joint stock company. Therefore, it will be subject to private law provisions, audited in line with independent audit standards, and be required to follow professional management policies. Accordingly, corporate governance principles under the Capital Markets Law (Law No: 6362) will apply.

The Wealth Fund, Fund Company, and all other affiliates will be exempt from various taxes and fees. These exemptions include corporate tax, stamp tax, municipal taxes, real estate tax, resource utilization support fund, banking and insurance transaction tax, capital markets fees, and court and enforcement fees.

For financing arrangements, the Wealth Fund’s assets can be pledged, mortgaged or otherwise encumbered. However, other than security interests granted for financing arrangements, the Wealth Fund’s own assets cannot be pledged, attached, or included in bankrupt estates.

Please see this link for the full text of the Law (only available in Turkish).

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Impact of Turkey’s State of Emergency on Intellectual Property Rights

After a nationwide three-month state of emergency introduced under article 120 of the Constitution, neither State of Emergency Law No. 2935 (“Law 2935”), nor decree laws contain any provisions regarding trademark, patent or industrial design matters. Procedures remain the same for IP rights in Turkey. In other words, intellectual property rights and processes have so far been unaffected.

However, following the announcement of State of Emergency, sanctions have been introduced for judicial and public officials who are deemed to have acted against Turkey’s national security. Specified judicial and public officials have been dismissed by the relevant authorities. Dismissed individuals include members of the Court of Cassation, the Constitutional Court of Turkey, and the Turkish Council of State, as well as members of the armed forces, police officers, and university academics.

Changes to individuals in the judiciary and government bodies may mean delays for ongoing matters. Therefore, rights owners might have problems when planning IP-related raid actions in the immediate future. Despite this, procedures currently remain unchanged for civil actions.

Given recent developments, no progress has been made with the draft IP law, which was sent to the Turkish parliament for approval in May 2016. However, it is likely that the draft IP law will be back on the Parliament’s agenda soon.

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New Tax Exemptions for R&D Activities in Turkey

Turkey has introduced income tax exemptions for salary payments in relation to certain specified tasks conducted outside of R&D Centers, provided these tasks are related to ongoing projects. A tax exemption is also introduced for staff expenses when undertaking postgraduate study. Further, 50% of R&D expenses can now be disregarded when calculating the previous years’ profits.

Income Tax Exemption for Time Spent on Ongoing Projects, Conducted Outside of R&A Centers

100% of an employee’s salary can be exempt from income tax in relation to the following activities and operations conducted outside of R&D centers, provided the work is directly related to the R&D center’s on-going projects:

– Analysis, tests and experiments conducted in laboratories.

– Activities and operations in other R&D centers.

– Field research.

– Scientific activities limited to the project’s personnel.

To access the exemption, approval is required from the R&D and Design Center Administration or administrative company of the Technology Development Center and Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology.

Time Spent Outside of R&D Centers, Within the Scope of Postgraduate Studies 

100% of expenses for R&D or design personnel are exempt from income tax during study outside the R&D center, provided the person has worked in the technology development center for at least one year and the study directly relates to an ongoing project at the R&D center. The exemption applies for:

– One and a half years for postgraduate study

– Two years for doctoral studies

To access the exemption, approval is required from the R&D and Design Center Administration or administrative company of the Technology Development Center and Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology.

50% of R&D Expenses Exempt when Calculating Previous Years’ Profits 

50% of R&D, innovation or design expenses from the previous year will be exempt from consideration when determining the company’s profit within the scope of Corporate Tax Law and commercial income within the scope of Income Tax Law, until 31 December 2023.

To be eligible, any of the following items will be increased at least 20% from the previous year:

– Ratio of the R&D or design expenses within total revenue.

– Number of national and international registered patents.

– Number of projects which are internationally funded.

– Ratio of the total number of researchers with a postgraduate degree, compared to the total number of R&D personnel.

– Ratio of the total number of researchers, compared to the total number of R&D personnel.

– Ratio of the revenue made from new R&D products, compared to total revenue

Please see these links for the full text Council of Ministers Decisions (only available in Turkish).

– Decision on Determination in the Scope of Income Tax Withholding Incentive of the Expenses of the Activities which are made outside of the R&D or Design Center or Area by the Personnel who Work in R&D or Design Centers and Technology Development Centers No. 2016/9091 (published in Official Gazette number 29798 on 11 August 2016).

– Decision on Relief Regarding Revenue Determination of R&D, Innovation and Design Expenses No. 2016/9092 (published in Official Gazette number 29797 on 10 August 2016).

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Turkey Extends Support and Audit Requirement for R&D to Also Include Industrial Design Activities

Turkey has expanded regulations for practice and audit of R&D activities to now also include industrial design activities. These rules apply to technology centers (built under the Law on the Establishment of the Presidency of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Development Administration no. 3624), as well as R&D and Industrial Design Centers located in Turkey. The rules are intended to support and provide incentives for R&D and innovation projects, industrial design projects, pre-competitive collaboration projects and technology-venture capitals.

The Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology published the Regulation on the Practice and Audit of the Supporting Research, Development and Industrial Design Activities (“Regulation”) in Official Gazette number 29797 on 10 August 2016, effective from 1 March 2016.

The Regulation outlines procedure and principles for:

– Activities which are not considered to be R&D, innovation, or industrial design.

– Scope of R&D, innovation and industrial design expenses.

– Methods for discounts to R&D and industrial designs practice principles.

– Incentive for income tax stoppage.

– Implementation of social security contribution support.

– Exemptions for stamp tax and customs tax.

Please see this link for full text of the Regulation (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Adjusts Relationship Between Technology Development Zones and Organized Industrial Zones

Turkey has amended requirements for Technology Development Zones, specifically focusing on the relationship between Technology Development Zones and Organized Industrial Zones. Provisions address permission and infrastructure obligations, as well as deadlines for Technology Development Zones to become operational.

The Regulation on the Implementation of the Technology Development Zones (“Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 29797 on 10 August 2016.

Notable amendments and new provisions introduced by the Regulation include:

– If a Technology Development Zone is located within an Organized Industrial Zone (“OIZ”), it must now obtain permission for the establishment from the relevant OIZ.

– Technology Development Zones must now commence operations within three years their announcement being published in the Official Gazette. The General Directorate of Science and Technology can grant extensions of up to one year. However, the relevant Council of Ministers’ Decision will become invalid if the Technology Development Zone does not begin operations by this time.

– If the Technology Development Zone is located in an OIZ, the OIZ management must provide infrastructure services in accordance with the Law on Organized Industrial Zones number 4562, dated 12 April 2000.

– Evaluation conditions for incentive applications are outlined in detail.

Technology Development Zones established before 10 August 2016 receive until 10 August 2017 to comply with the Regulation’s new requirements.

Please see this link for the full text of the Regulation (only available in Turkish).

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Turkish Patent Institute Launches Electronic Mailbox System for Notifications

The Turkish Patent Institute (“TPI”) has launched an optional electronic mailbox system for Trademark and Patent Attorneys to receive notifications. From 17 August 2016, attorneys can log into the mailbox system using e-signatures and electronically sign an undertaking on their first login.

For notifications uploaded to the mailbox system, the receipt date is either:

– The date an Attorney logs into their mailbox, if the login is within ten days of the TPI uploading the notification.

– The tenth day after the TPI uploads the notification, if an Attorney fails to log into their mailbox within this period.

To ensure the system’s reliability and to avoid any possible loss of rights, Attorneys will receive a daily email to their regular email address, containing a list of notifications available in their TPI mailbox.

The TPI mailbox system optional at this stage and only available to Trademark and Patent Attorneys. Legal entities and natural persons acting on their own behalf will continue to receive their notifications via post and registered e-mail system.

Please see the link for the TPI’s announcement (only available in Turkish).

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Turkish Constitutional Court: Right to be Forgotten Trumps Press Freedom for Fourteen Year Old News about an Individual’s Drug Use

The Turkish Constitutional Court recently considered a claim seeking to remove 1998 and 1999 content from an online news archive regarding the Petitioner’s past illegal drug use and trial. The court balanced constitutional press freedom and freedom of expression against the Petitioner’s right to be forgotten. Ultimately, it granted the Petitioner’s request to remove the content, ruling in favor of the Petitioner’s right to protect and improve corporal and spiritual existence (Article 17 of the Turkish Constitution).

The Petitioner initially sought to have the newspaper remove the news content from its online archive by sending a cease and desist letter. The newspaper ignored the letter, so the Petitioner initiated a criminal action against the newspaper. The first instance court accepted all of the Petitioner’s claims, holding that the news in question was outdated. Accordingly, the lower court held that the news breached the Petitioner’s privacy rights because there is no public interest in continuing to publish the content.

The first instance court’s decision was reversed on appeal. The Petitioner subsequently bought the matter to the Constitutional Court, claiming breaches of their constitutional rights to protect and improve corporal and spiritual existence, as well as their right to respect for privacy and family life.

The Constitutional Court ruled that the content should be removed, in order to protect the Petitioner’s right to protect and improve corporal and spiritual existence, protected by the Article 17 of the Turkish Constitution. In reaching the decision, the Constitutional Court noted:

– A fair balance must be found between:

– The Petitioner’s right to reputation.

– The Petitioner’s right to protect and improve corporal and spiritual existence.

– Press freedom

– Freedom of expression.

– The right to be forgotten is clearly outlined in the 19th Supreme Court Assembly of Civil Chambers’ decision dated June 17, 2015 and numbered E. 2014/4-56 and K. 2015/1679. In this case, a party’s right to privacy and reputation was held to have been violated by news published online, which was easily accessible (more).

– The right to be forgotten aims to balance press freedom, freedom of expression and the spiritual existence of individuals.

– The news in question is fourteen years old and describes the Petitioner being arrested and tried for using drugs. Accordingly, the Constitutional Court deemed the news to be outdated.because there is no need for the information to be easily accessed on the web archive.

Recent judicial decisions about the right to be forgotten have begun to act as precedents in later cases, including recent decisions by Constitutional Court and Supreme Court Assembly of Civil Chambers.

The Turkish jurisdiction’s similar approach to Decision No C-132/12 of the European Court of Justice, considered as the base for the right to be forgotten, will result in re-evaluating the obligations of online search engines and content providers.

In the scope of right to be forgotten, natural and legal persons who provide or link to content will be considered to be both “data processor” and “data controller” because the content is actually stored in the archives/available within search results.

Please see this link for full text of the Constitutional Court’s decision, made on 3 March 2016, with application number 2013/5653 (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Tightens Cheque Issuance Regime

Turkey has tightened the legal regime for open chequing accounts, along with criminal sanctions for issuing dud cheques. Dud cheques were regularly issued in bad faith under the prior legislative regime. However, legislative amendments go a significant way towards preventing dud cheques and increasing reliability.

The Law Regarding Amendment of Certain Laws for Improvement of Investment Environment numbered 6728 (“Amendment Law”) was published in Official Gazette number 29796 on 9 August 2016.

Changes introduced by the Amendment Law include:

– Legislation now requires persons wishing to open a chequing account to also submit criminal a record certificate to the bank.

– Banks must now check whether or not the chequing account holder (either a real person or legal person) or company signatories are prohibited from opening chequing accounts.

– Banks must submit information about chequing account holders to the Banks Association of Turkey Risk Center.

– Cheques should include either:

– A real person’s Turkish ID number

– A legal person’s MERSIS number

– If the chequing account holder and the cheque issuer are different, the issuer’s ID number must also be added to the cheque.

– Issuing dud cheques becomes a crime punishable by punitive fine of up to 1500 days per dud cheque. The punitive fine imposed cannot be lower than the dud cheque amount.

– Persons determined to be issuing dud cheques will be prohibited from issuing cheques and opening chequing accounts. The Banks Association of Turkey Risk Center will circulate information about prohibited parties to banks. Prohibited parties will also be prohibited from taking duties in the executive body of companies. However, if they are already acting as a member of the executive body of a company, they will continue their duty until the end of their term of duty.

– From 31 December 2017, beneficiaries of coded cheques must register the cheque on the information sharing system maintained by the Banks Association of Turkey Risk Center. Changes to a legal person’s representatives who issued the cheque after this registration date will not release the related legal person from liability.

Please see this link for full text of the Amendment Law (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Loosens Proportional Stamp Taxes and Notary Fees and Introduces a New Procedure in Tax Investigations

Turkey has significantly loosened stamp tax obligations and notary fees for a range of documents. Under the change, copies of papers subject to proportional stamp tax are no longer subject to stamp tax. From 9 August 2016, proportional stamp tax will only apply to a single version of the document. Notary fees are also now waived in certain circumstances. Fees and processes for documents subject to fixed stamp tax remain unchanged. A new explicatory step is introduced into tax investigation procedures.

The Law Amending Certain Laws for the Purpose of Improvement of the Investment Environment, Law No: 6728 (“Law”) was published in Official Gazette number 29796 on 9 August 2016.

Significant changes introduced by the Law include:

– Copies of papers subject to proportional stamp tax are no longer subject to stamp tax.

– The list of papers specifically excluded from stamp tax is extended (Table 2 of the Stamp Tax Law).

– Any undertaking related to an agreement by way of sanction, such as “down payment, forfeit penalty, deduction from wage, contractual penalty clause” is now exempt from stamp tax assessment, unless it is the subject of a separate agreement.

– Notary fees no longer apply to copies of papers which are issued as multiple copies, include a price, and are subject to proportional fee.

– Notarization of corporate books are no longer subject to notary fees during the company establishment phase.

Another significant change means the Administrative Authority’s “invitation to explain” process will no longer apply if its predeterminations suggest tax evasion. The Administrative Authority can send taxpayers an “invitation to explain” prior to tax audit or referral to the Valuation Commission. Accordingly, taxpayers can provide a written statement of explanation, and potentially avoid audit or referral. The Ministry of Finance will determine the nature of the predetermination, form of the invitation to explain and the institution’s implementation procedures and principles.

Please see this link for full text of the Law (only available in Turkish).

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Regulator’s Inspection Figures Find Cosmetic Products and Medical Devices in Turkey Largely Deficient

The Turkish Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (“Agency”) has announced inspection figures for cosmetic products and medical devices, relating to the second quarter 2016. The Agency’s inspections found 128 of the 170 cosmetic products inspected were deficient and unsafe (75%), as well as 419 of 497 medical devices examined (84%).

The Agency’s announcement provides figures along with details such as product owners, products, trademarks, serial numbers, barcode numbers, origins and reasons for deficiency of the stated products. Source countries for deficient and unsafe medical devices include Taiwan, Italy, The Netherlands, South Korea, China, Germany and Turkey.

All cosmetic products which were examined and found to be deficient were counterfeit perfumes.

The Agency notes the total amount of administrative fines issued for deficient and unsafe products in the period was 576,620 TL.

Please see the following links for full text and the details of the announcements (only available in Turkish):

– Medical devices inspection figures

– Cosmetic products inspection figures

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Turkey to Launch Public Procurement System for Railway Passenger Transport

Turkey has introduced a new system for procurement of railway passenger transportation services. From 1 May 2018 onward, railway train operators will be chosen via a tender procedure, announced by the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication (“Ministry”). Generally, an open tender procedure will apply, but the service may be obtained via direct supply in certain cases.

The Regulation on the Public Service Obligation for the Railway Passenger Transportation (“Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 29807 on 20 August 2016, coming into force on the same date.

Under the Regulation, a public service agreement will be executed with the public service provider for procurement of railway passenger transportation services with the characteristics of a public service which may not be provided commercially. The agreement will specify:

– Duration.

– Location for the transportation.

– Amount of train services to be provided.

– Ticket price for passenger transportation.

– Payment methods.

Until 1 May 2018, railway passenger transportation services will continue to be provided by the Turkish State Railways and Transportation Joint Stock Company.

The Ministry will regularly inspect compliance with the public service agreement.

The Ministry will determine the public service fee and such payments cannot be more than the net cost.

Please see this link for full text of the Regulation (only available in Turkish).

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Turkish Notary Union Clarifies Fee and Tax Calculation for Construction Agreements in Exchange of Condominium Rights

The Union of Turkish Public Notaries (“Notary Union”) has stated that both a building’s value and land’s value will be considered when calculating fees and stamp tax for construction agreements undertaken in exchange for condominium rights. To clarify contradictory practices, the Notary Union considered views from the tax courts and Revenue Administration, and ultimately sought the opinion of the General Inspectorate of the Ministry of Justice. The Notary Union noted that inspectors follow the Ministry of Justice’s approach, which includes both a building’s value and land’s value in calculations.

The Notary Union refers to the Revenue Administration’s opinion that an adequate value should be determined in construction agreements in exchange of condominium rights, as well as preliminary agreements to sell property. The value should used to calculate proportional fees and stamp duty. However, the Revenue Administration did not provide any information about determining an adequate value in such agreements. Therefore, the Notary Union interprets “adequate value” as the real estate tax value, or the fair market value of property as declared by the concerned persons.

The Notary Union also considers the approach adopted by tax courts, which only consider the land’s valuation.

Please see this link for Notary Union’s Circular No. 2016/58, issued on 23 June 2016 (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Announces 2016 Electricity Market Operation Revenue Requirements

Turkey’s energy regulatory has announced 2016 principles and methods for calculating electricity market operation revenues for the Energy Markets Operating Company (“EPIAS”). Accordingly, revenue required for EPIAS operations (as the exclusive market operator) will be allocated among the market participants which supply or intake electric power to the balancing power system. Market participants include license holders for production, supply (including Organized Industrial Zone suppliers), distribution and transmission.

The Energy Market Regulatory Board published the Notification on Price and Commission Calculation Methods for Compensation of Electricity Market Operation Revenues (“Notification”) in Official Gazette number 29811 on 24 August 2016.

The Notification includes formulas for calculating market operating prices for operations in the day-ahead market, balancing power market and reconciliation settlements. Pricing will be made on the basis of costs charged for the services provided to market participants.

Insufficient data was available to calculate estimated operation volumes for 2016 was not available during preparation of the 2016 tariff proposals. Therefore, the approximate monthly operation volumes between July and December 2015 will be used for the calculation (Provisional Article 1 of the Notification).

Please see this link for full text of the Notification (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Introduces Regime for Urban Transformation Real Estate Certificates

Turkey has announced a range of changes and new regulations to real estate certificates, intended to improve effectiveness of these instruments. In particular, rules and requirements are introduced for real estate certificates issued within the urban transformation projects. A detailed regime is established for issuing and applying for such certificates.

Amendments Communique (VII-128.2a) on the Real Estate Certificates Communique (VII-128.2) (“Communique”) was published in Official Gazette number 29790 on 03 August 2016, entering into effect on the same date.

Key points under the Communique include:

– Municipalities, İller Bank Corporation and TOKİ (housing development administration of Turkey) can be authorized to issue urban transformation real estate certificates.

– To issue real estate certificates, the issuer’s total amount of owner’s equity should be more than the total amount of issued capital. However, this term does not apply to TOKİ, İller Bank Corporation and their subsidiaries.

– Issuers should obtain a long term credit rating from a credit rating agency (except TOKİ, İller Bank Corporation and their subsidiaries).

– Real estate certificates for urban transformation projects can be issued to persons determined as an owners of a right under the Laws numbered 6306, 5393, 2985 and 775.

– An independent auditing firm competent to act in capital markets will check performance and audit ownership rights, reporting the outcomes via the Public Disclosure Platform.

– Real estate certificate can be issued for more than one real estate project.

– For incomplete real estate projects, a preliminary contract for sale or pre-emption can be concluded if the contact is annotated to the land registry.

Please see this link for all other changes and full text of the relevant Communique (only available in Turkish).

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Secondary Amendments to Turkish Reporting Obligations for Suspicious Transactions

Turkey’s Ministry of Finance (“Ministry”) has amended secondary legislation to reflect recent changes to reporting requirements for suspicious transactions. Notification obligations apply to a wide range of entities, involved in both completed and attempted transactions (more). Such entities must report suspicious transactions and suspend their execution pending receipt of a decision from the Minister.

Under the regime, certain obliged parties must notify the Turkish Financial Crimes Investigation Board (“Board”) if a supportive document or a serious indication exists showing that a suspicious transaction has been performed or attempted. The Board is required to provide a decision about the transaction within seven working days of receiving the notification. The obliged party must refrain from performing the relevant transaction until receiving the Board’s decision.

The time period for a response is generally seven days, but expended to 30 day under the current State of Emergency (more).

Communiqué number 15 for Amending the General Communiqué number 13 on Financial Crimes Investigation Board (“Amendment Communiqué”) was published in Official Gazette number 29797 on 10 August 2016, entering into effect on the same date.

The Amendment Communiqué makes changes to Article 1 and Article 4 of the General Communiqué number 13 on Financial Crimes Investigation Board to give effect to these changes.

Please see this link for the full text of the Amendment Communiqué (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Announces Details of 2016 Support Payment Scheme for Farmers

Turkey’s Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock has announced details of the 2016 support payment scheme for farmers, intended to sustainability improve vegetable production and develop agricultural techniques.

The Communique on Support Payments to Vegetable Production (No. 2016/29) (“Communique”) was published in Official Gazette number 29791 on 4 August 2016.

In 2016, support payments are offered for:

– Diesel fuel and fertilizer.

– Small family businesses producing vegetables (land must be 5,000 m2 or less; excludes tea and hazelnut).

– Organic agriculture.

– Good agricultural practices.

– Difference determined under the agriculture basins production and subsidies model.

– Bumblebee breeding.

– Forage plant breeding.

– Use of feed with a domestic certificate.

– Seedling/strawberry seedling.

– Standard seedlings with a domestic certificate,

– Rehabilitation of traditional olive orchids.

To access the support payments, farmer must register in the Farmer Register System, then apply to the district/provincial directorate of agriculture in the area they are registered.

Farmers who are registered during 2016 will automatically be taken to have applied for support payments offered in relation to diesel oil and fertilizer. Farmers who do not wish to receive these automatic support payments should notify the relevant directorate by 30 December 2016.

Please see this link for full text of the Communique (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Amends Price Arrangements for Certain Medicines and Health Services

Turkey’s Health Services Pricing Commission (“Commission”) determines prices for travel, bed and food paid by the Social Security Organization. The Commission recently amended the prices of several services and added certain medicines to the Foreign Medication List, with new prices as of 3 August 2016.

The General Directorate of General Health Insurance and other relevant authorities will publish a Communique on Health Practices for medicines indicated in the Decision relating to treatment of chronic hepatitis C, malignant melanomas, diabetic foot ulcers and methastatic breast cancer.

Cempes 125 mg/5ml Oral Powder for Suspension (100 ml), a medicine owned by Sanavel İlaç Sanayi Ticaret A.Ş., is exempt from the private discount.

The Commission’s decision was published in Official Gazette number 29807 on 20 August 2016. Please see this link for the full text of the Decision (only available in Turkish).

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