Edition 34: 5 December 2016
Editorial Team:
Dr. E. Seyfi Moroğlu, LL.M., Işık Özdoğan, LL.M. and Bora İkiler, LL.M.
Turkey Introduces Secondary Regulation With Details on Maternity Leave, Unpaid Leave and Part-Time Employment for Parents

Turkey’s Ministry of Labour and Social Security has announced secondary legislation with details of conditions, procedures and restrictions for recent changes to maternity leave, unpaid leave following maternity leave, as well as part-time employment eligibility up until a child begins primary education (more).

The Regulation on the Part-Time Employment Following the Maternity Leave or Unpaid Leave (“Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 29882 on 8 November 2016, entering into effect on the same date.

In parallel with the Labour Law, the Regulation provides that:

– Female employees are entitled to sixteen weeks’ maternity leave; eight weeks before the delivery and eight weeks after the delivery.

– When adoption a child younger than three years, one of the adopting parents is entitled to eight weeks maternity leave, starting from the actual date of adoption.

– Employees who gave birth or adopted a child younger than three years are entitled to unpaid leave for half of their weekly working hours for the following periods:

– 60 days for the first delivery.

– 120 days for the second delivery.

– 180 days for the third delivery.

Requests to Work Part Time

Employees may request to work part-time at any time following the end of maternity leave or unpaid leave after the maternity leave, up until the child reaches mandatory primary education age (currently six years old).

The Regulation provides details for criteria and restrictions:

– If one of the parents is unemployed, the working parent may not request part-time work. However, this restriction is waived if:

– One of the parents has a disease requiring constant care and treatment.

– The parent applying for part-time work has sole guardianship of the child, granted by the court.

– Sole adoption of a child under three years old.

– Employer consent is generally not required for requests to work part-time. However, employer consent is required for part-time work in relation to:

– Work carried out by employees who are regulated to work full time at private health institutions.

– Industrial work carried out 24/7 by consecutive work shifts.

– Seasonal or campaign work which will continue for less than one year.

– Work which is not suitable to be carried out by dividing between working days of the week.

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

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European Union Court of Justice: Dynamic IP Addresses Count as Personal Data

The Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) recently declared that dynamic IP addresses should be deemed to be personal data if the user’s Internet Service Provider has additional data which allows the identification of the user. The European Union decision will help during interpretation of Turkey’s Data Protection Directive, answering the questions regarding how to define personal data.

The dispute at hand arose before German courts in 2008, where a German citizen sought to prevent websites operated by the Federal German Institutions from collecting and using his IP addresses. The claim was rejected at the first instance court level. The claimant escalated the file to the German Court of Appeals, which partially accepted the claim. Both parties appealed the matter further to the German Federal Court of Justice.

The Federal Court of Justice referred two questions to the CJEU:

– Whether Article 2(a) of Directive 95/46 must be interpreted as meaning that a dynamic IP address registered by an online media service provider when a person accesses a website that provider makes accessible to the public constitutes personal data, when only the internet service provider has the additional information necessary to identify the website user, and

– Whether Article 7(f) of Directive 95/46 must be interpreted as precluding the legislation of a Member State under which an online media services provider may collect and use a user’s personal data without his consent only to the extent necessary in order to facilitate, and charge for, the specific use of those services cannot justify use of data beyond the end of the particular use of them.

The CJEU issued a non-binding advisory decision replying positively to both questions.

It noted that if the web site operator has additional information which will enable the third parties to identify the visitor, then the visitor’s dynamic IP address constitutes personal data.

It also noted that Article 7(f) of the Directive should be interpreted as precluding the legislation of a Member State (Germany) under which an online media service provider (German Federal Institution) may have a legitimate interest to ensure the continued functioning of their websites.

(Case reference: Breyer v Bundersrepublik Deutschland, 19.10.2016, CJEU Case C-582/14)

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Turkey Prohibits Unlicensed Electricity Generation Applications for Sites Also Applying for Wind Generation Licenses or Pre-Licenses

Turkey’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources has prohibited unlicensed electricity generation applications for sites which are currently also in the application process for a production license or pre-license based on wind power. Such applications will be rejected and returned to the license holders. Therefore, unlicensed generation cannot occur at a site if a wind power-based licenced facility will also be built on the same site.

The Regulation Amending the Technical Evaluation on Applications of Electricity Generation Based on Wind Sources (“Amendment Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 29882 on 8 November 2016. The Amendment Regulation makes changes to the Regulation on Technical Evaluation on Applications of Electricity Generation Based on Wind Sources, published in Official Gazette 29508 on 15 October 2015.

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

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Natural Gas Distributors Can Now Distribute Outside their Designated License Areas in Turkey

Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Authority (“EMRA”) has introduced rules and establishment processes for distribution companies to now be permitted to distribute natural gas to districts located outside their existing natural gas distribution licenses, which have populations over ten thousand people. Previously, only the state-owned transmission company BOTAŞ was permitted to do so.

EMRA issued Energy Market Regulatory Board’s decision numbered 6560 on 27 October 2016 (“Decision”), published in Official Gazette number 29876 on 2 November 2016.

According to the Decision:

– The Energy Market Regulatory Board (“Board”) will authorize the legal entities which will distribute natural gas to the relevant districts.

– Distribution companies must conduct their grid connection processes and distribution network investments within their territory, in line with the relevant regulations.

– To begin offering natural gas supply to other districts, the subscription fee determined by EMRA should be paid by at least 60% of the population in such districts. Therefore, territories with more applicants who have paid the subscription fees will take priority when providing network investments and during design processes.

– Distribution companies are not required to provide natural gas connections to applicants in territories where the network has not been established yet. Paying the subscription fee on its own will not require the distribution company to provide natural gas connection.

– Distribution companies must notify consumers and refund subscription fees if natural gas connection agreements cannot be executed within 12 months of the supply start date, due to either:

– Necessary roads not yet being completed in accordance with the construction plan.

– Permits and licences for building the distribution network are not obtained.

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

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Turkey Clarifies Use of Intellectual and Industrial Property Rights as Pledges Within Commercial Transactions

Turkey recently introduced major legislative changes to the pledge and assignment regime, which will facilitate access to finance for SMEs and boosts competitiveness (more). The new regime addresses uncertainties that had previously arisen about which intellectual and industrial property rights could be subject to pledges during commercial transactions. Accordingly, it is now clear that all intellectual and industrial rights are eligible.

The Law on Pledge on Movables in Commercial Transactions numbered 6750 (“Law”) was published in Official Gazette number 29871 on 28 October 2016, entering into effect on 1 January 2017. The Law abolishes Law No. 14447 on Commercial Enterprise Pledges.

Previously, legislative wording caused confusion about which intellectual and industrial property rights could be subject to a commercial enterprise pledge. The (now repealed) wording previously referred to “Patents, trademarks, models, pictures and industrial rights such as licenses”. In particular, it was unclear whether this included copyright. 

The Law addresses uncertainty at Article 5(c) by changing the wording to clearly state that “all intellectual and industrial rights” can be subject to a commercial enterprise pledge from 1 January 2017.

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

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Turkish Court Rules on Obligation to Determine a Trademark’s Aim at Time of Registration When Considering Cancellation Actions

The Turkish Supreme Court recently ruled on the requirement during cancellation actions for the court to determine a trademark’s aim at the time of registration. The court reversed a lower court’s trademark cancellation decision on the basis that the lower court had failed to determine whether the disputed trademark was registered in order to create a trademark series, or registered to cause confusion with the plaintiff’s trademark.

At the First Instance Court, the plaintiff sought cancellation of a two trademarks. The plaintiff claimed its trademark was well-known and the defendant’s trademarks caused the likelihood of confusion. It also claimed the disputed trademarks had not been used since registration. The defendant claimed continuous use of the trademarks since 1992, as well as the well-known status of its own trademarks and the investment in the marks.

The Court of First Instance considered two trademarks:

– It rejected the plaintiff’s claims for trademark “X”, on the basis the defendant’s trademark was registered much earlier than the plaintiff’s in the United States. The court also held that the plaintiff’s trademark was not well-known when the defendant registered its trademark in 1992.

– It upheld the plaintiff’s claims for trademark “Y”, on the basis the plaintiff had many trademark registrations including the phrase “Y” on the date the defendant was granted trademark “Y”. Therefore, the court held there is a risk of causing confusion in the eyes of the average consumer.

Both the defendant and the plaintiff appealed the Court of First Instance’s decision to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s decision for trademark “Y”. The matter was referred back to the lower court for further consideration.

The Supreme Court held that the lower court had wrongly made its decision without determining whether:

– The trademark was registered in order to create a trademark series, with already existing trademarks, or

– The trademark was registered in order to cause the likelihood of confusion with the claimant’s trademark.

(Case reference: Yarg. 11. HD. 31.05.2016, 2015/9561 E., 2016/5975 K.)

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Turkey Makes a Range of Changes to Investment Support Scheme

Turkey has made a range of changes to its state investment support scheme. Amendments apply to eligibility criteria, tax rates, support periods, as well as investment completion processes, among others aspects of the scheme.

The Decree Amending Cabinet Decree on State Supports for Investments (“Decree”) was published in Official Gazette number 29848 on 5 October 2016.

Notable amendments under the Decree include:

– Investors were previously required to apply to the Ministry of Economy for certain specified investments within the incentive scheme, worth up to ten million Turkish Lira. Investors can now apply to local offices located in the place where these investments are made, rather than to the central Ministry.

– Interest support for strategic investments will now be applied regardless of the investment’s commencement date.

– Support for employers’ national insurance contributions is now available in regions where large-scale investment and regional incentive practices previously offered no support.

– Discounts to corporate and income tax have increased, meaning that investors must now provide a larger monetary contribution.

– Manufacturing industry investments in industrial districts will now qualify to for one-down regional supports.

– A minimum fixed investment amount for incentive certificates prepared for one-down regional support is introduced as:

– One million Turkish Lira for investments in regions 1 and 2 (except Istanbul).

– 500,000 Turkish Lira for investments in other regions.

– For investments which were not completed within the investment period, investment expenditures made up until the completion visa step are considered to be within the incentive certificate regime’s scope during the completion visa. However, these expenditures cannot benefit from support available under the incentive certificate.

– Completion visas for hotel investments, which have obtained a hotel business license but cannot submit their tourism operation license during the completion visa period, can be made by converting the document via the general incentive system.

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

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Financial Action Task Force Will Begin Fourth Mutual Evaluation for Turkey in October 2018

The Financial Action Task Force (“Task Force”) will commence its Fourth Round of Mutual Evaluations for Turkey in October 2018. The Task Force establishes international standards to fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. Since 2014, all member countries are subject to evaluations which require countries to carry out a “National Risk Evaluation” process. The Task Force is an inter-governmental body and Turkey has been a member since 1991.

The tentative date for the Task Force’s Evaluation Committee to visit Turkey has been announced as March 2019, with the Task Force’s General Assembly scheduled to discuss the evaluation report in October 2019.

Circular No. 2016/22 (“Circular”) was published in Official Gazette numbered 29864 on 21 October 2016.

The Circular announces that a National Risk Evaluation Project and Project Action Plan will be prepared in coordination with the Financial Crimes Investigation Board. Its purpose is to review domestic legislation, take necessary measures and effectively carry out related process.

A Project Guidance Committee is also established, consisting of 19 members under the presidency of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance. Its purpose is to ensure coordination and cooperation during the project.

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

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Turkey Announces a Range of Additional Import Custom Taxes

Turkey has announced additional import customs duties for a wide variety of items, ranging from stationery to stainless steel household items. The additional customs tax rates vary between 6% and 25%, provided the rates do not exceed the 50% limit already stated in the Law on Customs Tariff Schedule No. 474.

Supplemental Cabinet Decrees No. 2916/9442 and No. 2016/9391 to the Import Regime Decree (“Supplemental Decrees”) were published in Official Gazette number 29885 on 11 November 2016.

Importers are responsible for reporting the origin of items when implementing the Supplemental Decrees. If items did not originate in the European Union or Turkey, and are imported under A.TR movement certificates, additional custom taxes will be imposed based on the column “Other Countries”.

If an item is exported as treated, the additional custom taxes specified in the Supplemental Decrees will not apply when calculating the compensatory tax, if any.

Additional custom taxes will not apply if a customs declaration for importing items which are loaded to be shipped to Turkey by issuing a way-bill are registered within 45 days after 11 November 2016.

Please see this link for the full text of the Supplemental Decree numbered 2016/9391 and see this link for the full text of the Supplemental Decree numbered 2016/9422 (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Announces Regulation on Allocation and Use of Banderol Fees

Turkey’s Ministry of Customs and Trade (“Customs and Trade Ministry”) has announced procedures and principles for banderol fees collected by the customs administration as revenue, as well as how the Customs and Trade Ministry’s units can use banderol fees. The customs administration collects banderol fees under the Law on Revenues of the Turkish Radio and Television Institution numbered 3093.

The Customs and Trade Ministry published the Regulation on Registration of Banderol Fees collected by Customs Administration as Revenue in Budget and Utilization by Expense Units of the Ministry (“Regulation”), in Official Gazette number 29882 on 8 November 2016, entering into effect on the same date.

Key arrangements in the Regulation include:

– The 2% of banderole fees collected by the customs administration, or properties subject to the banderole fee under the Law, will be transferred to the Customs and Trade Ministry in cash.

– The Ministry of Finance will register the Customs and Trade Ministry’s share of banderole fees with the economic revenue code numbered 04.6.1.25. It will be tracked in a special revenue account.

– At the Customs and Trade Ministry’s request, the Ministry of Finance must send the 2% share to the relevant Customs and Trade Ministry unit, to be recorded as allowance for necessary budget allocation. The transfer must happen by the last business day of the following month and be recorded as revenue in the general budget.

– The Regulation outlines principles for the Customs and Trade Ministry to use the transferred share.

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

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Turkish Constitutional Court Considers Lessors’ Ability to Terminate Fixed Term Leases

Turkish legislation protects lessees by imposing comparatively higher thresholds on lessors to terminate fixed term leases. A first instance court recently applied to the Turkish Constitutional Court, claiming a legislative provision enabling lessors to terminate fixed term leases without providing any reason at the end of ten years extension period violates constitutional property rights, as well as freedom or labour and contract. The Turkish Constitutional Court held that the provision is not unconstitutional.

The Turkish Code of Obligations states that on expiry of fixed term lease agreement, leases will be automatically extended for a further year unless the lessee gives 15 days prior notice of termination (Article 347). However, lessors are not entitled to terminate the lease agreement based upon the agreement expiring.

Article 347 of the Code of Obligations outlines criteria for when each party can terminate a lease:

– Fixed term leases:

– Lessee can terminate the agreement by providing fifteen days’ notice before expiry of the original lease term.

Lessor cannot terminate the agreement based upon the agreement expiring on expiry of the original lease term. However, at the end of ten years extension period, lessors can terminate the agreement without reason by giving three months’ notice prior to the end of the next extension year.

– Unlimited term leases:

– Lessee can terminate lease agreements at any time by providing three months’ notice.

– Lessor can terminate the agreement once ten years has passed from the beginning of the lease by providing three months’ notice.

In the case at hand, the Court of First Instance filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court, claiming that the provision allowing lessors to terminate fixed term leases without reason via a three month notice after ten years of extension period violated constitutional property rights, as well as freedom or labour and contract (emphasized above).

The Constitutional Court rejected the lower court’s claim, finding that the provision was not unconstitutional. It noted:

– Article 347 aims to avoid adverse consequences which could arise from a lessee being the direct holder of an asset which is subject to a long term lease agreement.

– In principle, a lessee can terminate fixed term lease agreement at the end of the lease term. However, the lessor is not permitted to terminate the agreement at the end of lease term. This mechanism protects lessors and ensures common good.

– Article 347 grants lessees the right to extend lease agreements under certain conditions. Therefore, the lessor has not been holding its asset for a duration of ten extension years. The Code of Obligations grants lessors the ability to terminate the agreement without reason once the ten year extension period expires.

– Legislation aims to ensure a reasonable balance between protecting lessees and protecting lessors’ freedom of contract, by allowing lessors to terminate an agreement without reason once the ten year extension period expires.

Please see this link for the full text of Constitutional Court’s decision (decision 2015/102, 7 September 2016) (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Clarifies Stamp Tax and Fee Exemptions for Notifications and Debt Repayment Schemes Involving Cheques

Turkey’s Union of Notaries has announced details of stamp tax and fee exemptions for warning notifications and certain agreements, involving cheques, regarding repayment of overdue loan debts.

The Circular regarding Exceptions to the Fees and Stamp Taxes numbered 2016/14 (“Circular”) was published on 28 June 2016.

Accordingly, the following documents qualify for exemptions from stamp tax and certain fees in Turkey:

– Agreements for repayment of overdue cash loans, non-cash loans and commodity loans, involving a revised payment plan, which includes provisions relating to cheques and cheque amounts.

– Warnings which are exclusively served for repayment of overdue cash loans, non-cash loans and commodity loans, which include provisions relating to cheques and cheque amounts.

The Circular also clarifies the meaning of “loan within the scope law”, mentioned in paragraph 23 of Section IV (Documents Regarding Commercial and Civil Works), at Annex 2 of Stamp Tax Law No. 488. The Circular clarifies that this phrase includes:

– Cash loans, which are considered to be a loan within the scope of the Banking Law no. 5411, and

– Non-cash loans and letter of credits, such as letter of guarantees, guarantees, bill of guarantees, endorsements and acceptances.

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

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Turkey’s Prime Ministry Encourages Public Institutions to Use Istanbul Arbitration Centre for Dispute Resolution

The Prime Ministry of Turkey (“Prime Ministry”) has encouraged public institutions and organizations to use the Istanbul Arbitration Centre (“ISTAC”) for dispute resolution in local as well as international agreements. The Ministry emphasizes that the ISTAC Arbitration and Mediation Rules were drafted in line with international standards, providing settlement for disputes in an efficient, objective, flexible, and confidential manner, which is also swift and cost-effective.

The Prime Ministry noted that arbitral awards by the ISTAC are definite, and can be enforced without an appeal process. It also stated that the ISTAC provides trainings and guidance services regarding arbitration.

The Prime Ministry published Circular No. 2016/25 in Official Gazette number 29893 on 19 November 2016. Please see this link for the full text of the Circular (available only in Turkish).

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Turkey Supports Efforts to Become Financial Hub by Establishing Istanbul International Financial Center Coordination Board

Turkey has announced establishment of the Istanbul International Financial Center Coordination Board (“Board”). The Board is established to increase the speed and effectiveness of the Istanbul International Financial Center Project, which aims to enhance Turkey’s strength as a financial hub and become a center for Islamic Finance.

The Circular on Istanbul International Financial Center No: 2016/24 (“Circular”) was published in Official Gazette number 29885 on 11 November 2016.

The Circular notes that Istanbul’s unique location allows investors to trade simultaneously in different stock markets. It goes on to say that use and variation of Islamic Finance instruments has increased in recent years, with Turkey becoming a major player in the field.

The Circular states that the Board is entitled to;

– Determine major policies and strategies.

– Direct the operations of related institutions and organizations.

– Take required precautions to resolve issues.

– Make legislative arrangements.

– Coordinate all transactions in this respect, make related resolutions, as well as track their implementation.

The Board’s president will be the Vice Prime Minister which the Capital Markets Board reports to. The Board consists of the:

– Vice Prime Minister responsible for Treasury.

– Minister of Justice.

– Minister of Environment and Urbanization.

– Minister of Development.

– Minister of Finance.

– Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication.

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

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Turkish Constitutional Court: Fixed Administrative Fines For Unlicensed LPG Transport, Sale, and Auto Filling Not Unconstitutional

The Turkish Constitutional Court recently considered the constitutionality of administrative fines applied for certain breaches of LPG legislation. It considered and rejected a claim that issuing such fines at the same rate for all breaches, regardless of a breach’s status and degree, violates constitutional principles of equity and justice.

Pursuant to Article 16 of Law No. 5307 on Liquid Petroleum Gas Market and Law on the Amendment of Electricity Market Law, administrative fines apply for:

– Unlicensed LPG transportation (TRY 500,000).

– Selling and filling LPG at auto gas stations, as well as having equipment, machine and tools for LPG tube filling at auto gas stations (TRY 250,000).

– Requirements for managing directors and training (TRY 50,000).

The Constitutional Court was asked to consider the constitutionality of these provisions, which involve the same administrative fine for all breaches, regardless of a breach’s status and degree. The lower court claimed the provisions were contrary to constitutional principles of equity and justice.

The Constitutional Court held the administrative fines were not unconstitutional because:

– Safe transportation of LPG, technical requirements, and sale of auto gas and tubes are closely linked to safety of the public and property.

– The fixed fines serve a deterrent function.

– The legislator has discretion to specify prohibited actions and determine the type and degree of sanction.

– The legislator aims to support public interests by prohibiting certain actions and imposing administrative fine for breaches.

– Fixed administrative fines are not contrary to principles of equity and justice, even though they have different impacts on infringers depending on their economic status,

– The legislator took adverse effect and possible results into account when determining fixed administrative fines.

Please see this link for full text of the Constitutional Court’s decision 2015/73 and 2016/161, dated 12 October 2016 (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Introduces Reimbursement Scheme for Participants at Industry Fairs

Turkey’s Money Credit and Coordination Board (“Board”) has introduced a new support package, intended to support trade finance, as well as increase the range of export products and services. Participants and organizers of internationally organized domestic fairs with sectoral quality will now be able to benefit from government support. Fair participants can now receive 50% reimbursement for fairground rent and constructions of stands, up to a cap of 30,000 TL per participant, per fair.

The Board accepted Amendment Decision No. 2016/9 (dated 8 November 2016) on the Decision of Supporting International Domestic Fairs with Sectoral Quality No. 2014/4 (“Amendment Decision”), published in Official Gazette number 29886 on 12 November 2016. 

Participants in this context means companies which are established in line with Turkish Commercial Law and are members of the exporters union, participating in internationally organized domestic fairs with sectoral quality.

According to the Amendment Decision, participants can now receive 50% reimbursement for the invoice amount paid by participants for fairground rent and constructions of stands, up to a cap of 30,000 TL per participant, per fair. The Ministry of Economy (“Ministry”) has power to amend fairs eligible for participant support, as well as the percentage and cap.

Participants must provide the necessary information and documents to the General Secretariat of Exporters Union, determined by the Ministry, within three months after the end of the fair. 

Support payments will not be made if it is determined that:

– The country is mispresented.

– The country’s reputation is damaged.

– Misleading information and documents are provided to the relevant units.

– Other supports are received in the scope of same expenses.

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

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Turkey Updates Compliance Regime for Vehicle Manufacturing, Modification and Installation

Turkey has updated procedures and principles for manufacturing, modifying and installing vehicles. The updated rules relate to compliance with traffic security and highway structures, specifically addressing vehicle compliance approvals, as well as highway structures, seeking to increase traffic safety.

The Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology (“Ministry”) published the Regulation on Manufacturing, Modification and Installation of Vehicles (“Regulation”), in Official Gazette number 29869 on 26 October 2016, entering into effect on 1 January 2017.

Key updates under the Regulation include:

– For Turkish-produced vehicles, the national type approval should be obtained. If a vehicle is not produced in Turkey, approval should be obtained from the approval body/institutions in an EU country.

– The Ministry (or authorized institution) can withhold Approval if it is determined that a vehicle, system, or separate technical unit fails to comply with the Regulation or causes danger to road safety.

– The Ministry (or authorized institution) can withhold Approval if it is not clear whether the manufacturing, modification or installation processes were performed in accordance with the Regulation.

– New vehicles cannot be put on the road unless they obtain approval from the Ministry or authorized institution.

– The properness fire detection and alarm system modifications must be certified by a technical examination report, as part of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulation numbered 107 (“UN/ECE Regulation”).

– Window film can be fitted on carrier passenger or cargo motor vehicles with at least four wheels, as well as trailers (except vehicles within the UN/ECE Regulation numbered 107).

– A voiced warning system working with the reverse gear must be fitted to:

– Passenger carrier vehicles with at least four wheels and eight seats (excluding the driver’s seat).

– Cargo carrier vehicles with maximum weight 12 tonne.

– The Ministry (or authorized institution) can grant exemption from some of the Regulation’s provisions.

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

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Turkey Introduces Additional Rules for Determining Price During Tendering Procedures

Turkey has introduced a new rules for determining price during tender procedures, for certain investors. The new rules apply to investors subject to the Industrial Zone Law, strategic investors in industrial zones, as well as investors operating in the defense, aviation, or aerospace industries which are specified by the Under Secretariat of Defense Industry. Qualifying investors can receive a direct occupancy permit or easement right regarding immovable property owned by the Treasury and the new rules outline how to determine the first year’s price.

Turkey’s Ministry of Finance (“Ministry”) published Communique No. 376 Amending the National Estate General Communique No. 324 (“Amendment Communique”) in Official Gazette number 29893 on 19 November 2016, entering into force on the same date.

Under the Amendment Communiqué, the first year’s price for occupancy permits or easement rights will be determined as follows:

– Persons pursuant to the Industrial Zone Law –5% of the minimum meter square unit value for the immovable property which is subject to real estate tax.

– Strategic investors in industrial zones – 0.1% of the total minimum meter square unit value for the immovable property subject to real estate tax.

– Selected parties operating in defense, aviation, or aerospace industry – 0.1% of the minimum meter square unit value for the immovable property subject to real estate tax.

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

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Turkey’s Central Bank Announces Maximum Credit Card Interest Rates for Q1 2017

Turkey’s Central Bank has determined new maximum contractual and default interest rates for credit card transactions, which will apply for the period 1 January 2017 to 31 March 2017. These maximum interest rates apply to transactions in Turkish Lira, as well as foreign currency transactions.

The Communiqué on Maximum Interest Rates to be Applied in Credit Card Transactions (No: 2016/8) (“Communiqué”) was published in Official Gazette number 29886on 12 November 2016, with the new rates effective from 1 January 2017. 

The new monthly maximum contractual interest rates are:

– 1.84% for credit card transactions in Turkish Lira.

– 1.47% for credit card transactions in foreign currency.

The new monthly maximum default interest rates are:

– 1.34% for credit card transactions in Turkish Lira.

– 1.97% for credit card transactions in foreign currency.

Monthly contractual profit share rates applied by participating banks during credit card transactions cannot be higher than the monthly maximum contractual and default interest rates determined in the Communiqué.

The Central Bank announces monthly maximum contractual and default interest rates each year for January-March, April-June, July-September and October-December.

The Communiqué superseded the Communiqué on Maximum Interest Rates Applied In Credit Card Transactions (No: 2014/5). 

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

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Turkey’s Ministry of Finance Announces 2016 Revaluation Rate as 3.83%

Turkey’s Ministry of Finance has announced the revaluation rate for 2016 as 3.83%. The rate will also apply to the last provisional taxation period of 2016. The revaluation rate is used to update various taxes, administrative penalties and other monetary amounts on an annual basis. The 2015 revaluation rate was 5.58% (more).

The 2016 rate was announced via Tax Procedural Law General Communiqué No. 474 (“Communiqué”), published in the Official Gazette number 29885 on 11 November 2016.

The Tax Procedure Law No. 213 defines the revaluation rate as the increase rate for the Domestic Producer Price Index. The Turkish Statistical Institute announces the rate during October each year (including October), as a comparison with the same period in the previous year. The Ministry announces the rate in the Official Gazette.

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

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Turkey’s Ministry of Health Shuts Down 5,300 Websites Selling Drugs, Slimming Teas And Similar Products

Turkey’s Ministry of Health (“Ministry”) has inspected and shut down 5,300 websites selling drugs, slimming teas and similar products. A Ministry statement notes that products which put public health in jeopardy have been prohibited and confiscated, as well as high administrative fines imposed on infringers.

The Ministry became authorized in 2014 to shut down websites which promote and sell medicines online, in violation of the Law on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Preparations numbered 1262 (“Law”).

The Amendment Regulation Regarding Health Declarations of Products that Launch with Health Declarations (“Regulation”) introduced then authorized the Ministry (as well as the Institution of Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices) to shut down websites which promote and sell products without obtaining Ministry permission, or which go beyond their existing  permission.

All products which claim to be slimming, herbal, or therapeutic for diseases fall within the scope of “Health Declaration”, defined in the Regulation.

Pharmaceuticals and cosmetics are the top sectors which Turkish people are most concerned about, according to a survey of 961 people by the Association of Compliance Assessment.

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Turkey Introduces New Standards for Nursing Centers for Disabled Persons

Turkey’s Ministry of Family and Social Policies (“Ministry”) has introduced comprehensive new standards for nursing centers for disabled people. Detailed regulations outline procedures and principles regarding opening facilities, working conditions, personnel standards, audit and scope of the services for such nursing centers.

The Regulation on Nursing Centers for Disabled Persons (“Regulation”) was published in the Official Gazette number 29878 on 4 November 2016.

The Regulation introduces provisions as to the following areas;

– Opening Process of Nursing Center for Disabled Persons (“Center”).

– Center’s Location and Conditions.

– Physical Specifications for the Center Building.

– General Working Conditions of Center.

– Scope of Nursing Services.

– Required Qualifications of Center’s Personnel.

– Fees.

– Audit of Centers.

– Sanctions.

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

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