THE LEGAL BASIS AND DUTIES OF ASSOCIATION OF INTERNET ACCESS PROVIDERS(SEPTEMBER 2016)

Law on Regulation of Publications on the Internet and Combating Crimes Committed by Means of Such Publications numbered 5651 (the “Law”), has been published in Turkish Official Gazette numbered 26530 on 23.05.2007. Articles 3 and 8 of the Law have entered into force 6 months following the publication date of the Law whereas the remaining articles of the Law have entered into force as of publication date.  

Prevention of access is defined under the Law as; "the prevention of access from domain name, the prevention of access from IP address, the prevention of access to the content(URL) and prevention of access by other means".  

The Association of Access Providers ("AAP") has been established to provide enforcement of the decisions on prevention of access except the decisions regarding the following crimes as per Article 8 of the Law:  

  • Incitement to commit suicide, sexual abuse of children, promoting use of drugs, supply of substances which endanger health, obscenity, prostitution, arranging a place or facility for gambling which regulated under Turkish Criminal Law,
  •  The crimes regulated under Law on Crimes Committed against Atatürk numbered 5816.  

Furthermore, Article 8/A of the Law titled "Preventing Access and/or Removing the Content In Urgent Cases" includes the online contents related with protection of right to live, safety of life and property, protection of national security and public order, prevention of committing a crime or protection of public health. The decisions regarding the prevention of access within scope of the above mentioned article are beyond AAP's assigned duties.  

AAP is a legal entity subject to private law and its headquarter is located in Ankara, capital city of Republic of Turkey. AAP is constituted of all internet service providers authorized by Electronic Communication Law numbered 5809 and other operators providing internet access service and ensures coordination. The internet service providers which are not a member of AAP are not allowed to operate legally.   

In accordance with Article 6/A of the Law, AAP shall imply all decisions regarding prevention of access excluding the decisions rendered as per Article 8 of the Law. Decisions regarding prevention of access other than within the scope of Article 8 of the Law shall be delivered to AAP for implementation. Notifications served to AAP are deemed as delivered duly to access providers.  

Besides, AAP is responsible to deliver decisions regarding prevention of access rendered by the other public institutions which authorized by special laws, to the access providers for implementation.  

With regard to the statutory provision of the Law, AAP’s sole authority regarding the decisions rendered pursuant to Article 8 of the Law is to implement decisions administratively. In the event of the decisions of prevention of access rendered according to the related article have been delivered to AAP, AAP shall immediately deliver the related decisions to Information and Communication Technologies Authority.  

AAP may prevent access to the content on the internet related to URL addresses starting with "http". However, technically, it is not possible to prevent access to internet addresses which are used by creating an account (such as facebook.com) due to the reason that such websites use "https" protocol. Hence, in case of prevention of access decision regarding the websites which use "https" protocol, AAP delivers these decisions to the access providers and informs the related authority which renders the prevention decision regarding technical impossibility of prevention of access.  

Besides, in accordance with the Law, AAP is only authorized to execute transactions related with the decisions on prevention of access limited to URL/Domain name/IP addresses. AAP is not entitled to implement the decisions regarding prevention of access to mail address and/or closing of e-mail account(s).  

Consequently, AAP is established and authorized to execute the decisions of prevention of access excluding the decisions rendered as per Article 8 of the Law.