Turkey: Compliance In Turkey

Last Updated: 8 August 2019
Article by Selin Ozbek Cittone

Compliance in Turkey

Turkey: Why is it important for your Global Compliance Program?

In the last two years, global companies were too busy getting compliant with the GDPR and all the other regions were mostly out of their radar. But before GDPR entered into effect, Turkish privacy legislation had a big change and Turkish Data Protection Law ("DPL") was enacted on 7 April 2016 (along with the ratification of the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data). Further, this change an independent authority, namely, Turkish Data Protection Authority ("TDPA"), was formed to supervise and regulate the Turkish market. The Turkish DPL was based on EU Directive 95/46/EC. But it would be fair to say that, in many aspects, DPL leans more toward the GDPR. This seems to be the approach of the TDPA as well.

You may rightfully think that being globally compliant with GDPR may solve many of your problems. This is partially true when it comes to Turkish data protection laws.

First of all, consent under Turkish law is always explicit consent. It does not matter if you process normal data or sensitive data. And what the DPL calls sensitive data, is even broader than GDPR's definition. DPL treats personal data revealing "race, ethnic origin, political opinions, philosophical beliefs, religion, sect or other beliefs, appearance and dress, membership of association, foundation or trade-union, health, sexual life, criminal conviction and security measures, and biometric and genetic data" as sensitive. Such categories of data can be processed without obtaining the explicit consent only if one of the following lawful grounds exists: (a) explicitly foreseen in the laws (except for data regarding health and sex life); and (b) personal data relating to health and sexual life can only be processed without obtaining the explicit consent of the data subject for purposes of protection of public health, operation of preventive medicine, medical diagnosis, treatment, and care services, planning and management of health services and financing by persons under the obligation of secrecy or authorized institutions and organizations.

These differences are very important when it comes to global compliance programs especially if your Turkish business

  • is entirely (or substantially) controlled by the parent company
  • reporting globally to regional/global department heads
  • uses your global database (for customers or employees) and a system like SAP
  • shares certain functions regionally or globally with the parent company or other group companies (eg. invoicing, CRM, HR, payroll, etc)
  • uses cloud-based services of your group
  • engages in regulated sectors or
  • processes a special category of personal data related to Turkish data subjects (especially health data).

What do you need to do? And why do you need to hurry?

First, you must determine whether you may be, by any way, positioned as a foreign data controller for purposes of your Turkey related operations? In terms of the definition of "controller" and "processor" just use the test under the GDPR. If you would consider yourself a data controller for all or some of your global data processing activities related to Turkey, you must register with Data Controllers' Registry latest by 30th of September 2019.

Although there is no specific provision in the DPL regarding the territorial scope of the DPL, the Regulation on Data Controllers' Registry refers to foreign controllers and requires them to be registered with the Turkish Data Controllers' Registry before commencing the processing of personal data in or from Turkey. This provision may be interpreted to give an extra-territorial reach to the DPL. Although still, we do not have any specific guidance of the TDPA in relation to extra-territoriality of the DPL, in different occasions the TDPA noted that they tend to interpret the processing by a foreign controller very widely. This suggests that the TDPA would not apply any tests, like in Article 3 (1) or (2) of the GDPR and require data controllers outside of Turkey to register if they process personal data related to Turkey.

Because the list of exemptions announced by the TDPA related to registration requirement does not, at least for now, include foreign data controllers, the monetary thresholds or professional exemptions for registry would not apply to controllers residing outside of Turkey.

What is needed to register?

  • All data controllers must have a correspondent for managing the relations with the DPA. If you are a Turkish company, the correspondent will be the Company 's board authorized to represent and act for the Company, an authorized person or board identified by the legislation or a representative the Company appointed to fulfill and handle Company's data protection liabilities. If you are a foreign company processing Turkish person's data in Turkey you must appoint a real person/legal entity representative as a correspondent.
  • You must prepare a personal data processing inventory.
  • You must determine why you are processing personal data.
  • You must identify to whom you transfer the personal data you are processing.
  • You must verify what type of security measures you are taking and make sure that you comply with the law and the criteria determined by the DPA.  
  • You must determine your maximum retention periods based on data categories. Also, you must prepare a policy and set your principles for retention and neutralization

Get ready & find your rep!

You should have prepared already your data inventory, data processing policy and your retention and neutralization policy. If you didn't do so until to date, you should include these to the top of your to-do list now, as the deadline is 30th of September.

If you are not a Turkish company but doing business in Turkey and processing personal information you need to appoint a representative to liaise your relations with the DPA. Don't forget, if you fail to register, you may be fined up to TRY 1,000,000. Apart from that, one must also always consider that the TDPA has the authority to suspended processing activities in case of noncompliance with the DPL.

When it comes to imposing fines, the UK's ICO may have hit the Europe's list this summer. But Turkish DPA has been very active too and imposed high fines to global organizations for data breaches involving Turkish data subjects.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Esin Attorney Partnership
Ozdagistanli Ekici Avukatlık Ortaklığı
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Practice Guides
by Mondaq Advice Centres
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Esin Attorney Partnership
Ozdagistanli Ekici Avukatlık Ortaklığı
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions