THE LAW ON REGULATION OF ELECTRONIC COMMERCE and COMMERCIAL ELECTRONIC MESSAGES (JUNE 2015)

The Law on Regulation of Electronic Commerce(“Law”) is published in the Official Gazette on 5 November 2014 entered into force as of 1 May 2015.

According to the Law on Regulation of Electronic Commerce, commercial electronic messages have been defined as; “Data, sound and image messages which are formed electronically and sent for commercial aims via telephone, call center, fax, automatic dialling machines, smart voice recorder system, e-mail and SMS service”. These messages shall not be sent by service to any consumers unless the providers had received a prior approval which would be either given verbally or via any kind of electronic media.

Administrative fines which is between 1.000 and 5.000 Turkish Liras shall be imposed to Service Providers and Intermediary Service Providers with respect to delivery of a commercial electronic message without the consent of the recipient. Moreover, in case the commercial electronics messages have been sent to more than one recipient, such penalty shall be applied as ten times of the aforementioned.

Article 6 provides an exception for “prior approval” requirement for the electronic messages. Hence, it is provided that Service providers and Intermediary Service Providers would send commercial electronic messages to the craftsmen and merchants without any prior approval. However, it should be well noted that a message directed to a company address does not require any kind of prior approval but the same message needs a prior approval in case it is directed to the same company’s shareholders or the general manager.    

According to the Article 7, content of the commercial electronic message must be suitable to the approval which has provided by the recipient. Otherwise, Administrative fines which is between 1.000 and 5.000 Turkish Liras shall be imposed to the service providers and Intermediary Service Providers. Content of commercial electronic message must include;

  • Identification Information of Service Providers
  • Contact Information of Service Providers such as telephone, fax number, etc.

Otherwise, Administrative fines which is between 1.000 and 5.000 Turkish Liras shall be imposed to Service and Agent Service Providers.

According to Article 8, recipients may refuse to receive the commercial electronic message without any cause.

In terms of providing the Recipient the right of refusing commercial electronic message, Service Providers have some obligations such as;

  • To enable the recipient to submit any rejection notice via easy and free via electronic media.
  • To enable the recipient to have necessary information with respect to the rejection notice in any kind of commercial electronic messages.
  • To cease the electronic message traffic directed to the Recipient within 3(three) work days after the rejection request.
Otherwise, administrative fines which is between 2.000 and 15.000 Turkish Liras shall be imposed to service providers and intermediary service providers. As a consequence; the Law which entered into force on 1 May 2015 is aimed to prevent unnecessary message and e-mail traffic directed to the consumers whether they include any kind of advertising and promotion by the service provider. However, the law is not applicable for the message traffic which has been directed to the recipients via the sender's resident outside of the Turkish Republic borders. However, we believe that aforementioned administrative fines would be imposed to the beneficiaries of the messages if they are resident in Turkey.