Personal data, one of the most discussed topics in the legal world, is protected in many countries, and it is regulated in Turkey under the Personal Data Protection Law, number 6698 (the “Law”), and secondary legislation. In addition, the decisions of the Personal Data Protection Board established under the Law (the “Board”), provide insight on the rules applicable to data controllers and processors.
The Turkish capital markets have undergone many regulatory amendments and adjustments this year to provide a more robust environment in terms of transparency, competition, and stability for investors. As regulators have kept manipulative transactions in their sights to overcome the panic created by COVID-19, the Turkish Capital Markets Board (CMB) has imposed many sanctions and penalties.
COVID-19 has swiftly become a global outbreak, affecting not only people’s lives but also the global economic conjuncture. Like most countries, the Republic of Turkey, has adopted several measures to eliminate or lessen impacts of COVID-19 on the economy. With this article, we will provide an overview of the Turkish legal market and key legislation enacted during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Are you still reading? Despite the title this is not a COVID-19 piece. Quite frankly we have had enough of that. We want life to go back to how it was – but it won’t. Something new is happening. People have been humbled by the effects of the C-word on their very existence. Everyone is suddenly more aware of the need to change – in Turkey, for example, we always kiss and hug upon meeting, and we are not used to the concept of social distancing at all. Now we stand a meter apart and elbow or fist bump – which still feels odd to me. We are aware and we are asking ourselves – “what needs to change? Was this our fault? What is biodiversity? What can we do?”
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has advised the EBRD, SACE, DEG, IFC, the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, Barings, Credit Agricole CIB, Deutsche Bank, UniCredit, Akbank, Isbank, and the Turkish Industrial Development Bank on the EUR 1.1 billion restructuring of the PPP agreement related to the development, construction, maintenance and operation of the Ankara Etlik Integrated Health Campus.
Turkish Constitutional Court granted a decision (“Decision”) on September 17, 2020 regarding an applicant’s claims on violation of right to request protection of personal data under right to privacy and freedom of communication due to inspection of correspondences on corporate e-mail account and termination of employment contract on the grounds of these correspondences.
The Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) recently published its Guidelines on Examination of Digital Data during On-site Inspections (“Guidelines”), which set forth the general principles with respect to the examination, processing and storage of data and documents held in the electronic media and information systems, during the on-site inspections to be conducted by the TCA. According to the recitals of the Guidelines, the TCA deemed that it was necessary to determine and set out these relevant principles, in light of the recent amendment to Article 15 (“On-Site Inspections”) of the Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition (“Law No. 4054”).
On October 1, 2020, the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the People’s Republic of China Concerning the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments (the “Agreement”) was published in the Turkish Official Gazette to ratify an amendment protocol signed by the contracting parties.
The Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) Yozgat Ready Mixed Cement decision (“Decision”) was published on September 7, 2020. The Board concluded that certain ready mixed concrete producers operating in Yozgat province of Turkey entered into a cartel agreement by way of forming two legal entities (namely, Güven Beton and Sorgun Emek Beton) for the purposes of coordinating the sales they make to customers via collectively determining prices and allocating customers. The Board decided that this amounted to a violation of Article 4 of the Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition (“Law No. 4054”) and imposed administrative fines amounting to 1.2% of the turnovers of the investigated parties.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”), in its recent decision with regard to the two joint cases (C‑807/18 and C‑39/19) brought before it for preliminary ruling, addressed how incompatibility with net neutrality shall be assessed under the relevant legislation regarding open internet access. In order to analyse this decision, we will first explain what net neutrality is and briefly discuss its possible links with the competition law. We will then move on to the relevant legislation surrounding the net neutrality. Lastly, we will discuss the aforementioned preliminary ruling of the CJEU and conclude.
ICTA’s Procedures and Principles on Social Network Provider (“Procedures”) were published on the Official Gazette on October 2, 2020. The Procedures provide the detailed framework for the obligations of “social network providers”, a new concept that was introduced at the end of July by the Amendment Law on the Law No. 5651 on Regulation of Broadcasts via Internet and Prevention of Crimes Committed Through Such Broadcasts (“Amendment Law”).