Legal AlertThe Communiqué On The Procedures and Principles On Social Network Provider Has Entered Into Force.

16 November 2020

The Communiqué on the Procedures and Principles on Social Network Provider (“Communiqué”) issued by the Information Communications and Technologies Board (“Board”) entered into force as it got published on the Official Gazette dated 02/10/2020 and numbered 31262. The Communiqué, regarding the procedures and principles concerning domestic and international Social Network Providers (“SNPs”) with more than 1 million access in Turkey, has been issued based upon the Annex 4 of the Law No. 5651 on Regulating Broadcasts Made on the Internet and Combating Crimes Committed Through These Publications (“Law”).

Communiqué sets forth the obligation for determining the representative. Accordingly: (i) SNPs originating abroad should specify at least one natural person or legal entity representative in Turkey , (ii) the natural person representative must be a Turkish citizen, (iii) the legal entity representative is sought out to be established in Turkey.

Representatives will act in accordance with the directions to be made by the notifications and requests of Information Communications and Technologies Authority (“ICTA”), Access Providers Association and other related official authorities, answer the applications made by the individuals in accordance with the Law, do reporting, fulfill the responsibilities and obligations stems from being the content or hosting service provider, also fulfill other obligations arising from the Law.

Board states that SNPs are obliged to respond to the applications for contents made by the relevant persons within the scope of Articles 9 and 9/a of the Law within 48 hours at the latest, to allow applications to be made in Turkish and to provide answers in Turkish for the applications made in Turkish.

The Communiqué stipulated that the information regarding the removal of the content notified to the SNPs and/or the implementation of the blocking of access decisions and the statistical and categorical information regarding the applications made by the individuals will be included in the report, which is to be lodged to the ICTA every 6 months in Turkish.

The Communiqué makes it possible for the SNP to apply to the ICTA stating that SNP is out of the scope in the event the daily access number of the SNP falls below 1 million.

Board has determined the penal clauses in three different items;

  • If the representative is not assigned sanctions to be gradually implemented as, (i) administrative fines of up to forty million Turkish Liras in total, (ii) prohibition on advertising, (iii) throttling internet traffic bandwidth.
  • In the event that the SNPs do not respond to the applications made, an administrative fine of five million Turkish Liras is to be imposed as a result of the collective evaluations made for non-fulfillment during the reporting period.
  • An administrative fine of ten million Turkish Liras is stipulated for SNPs who fail to fulfill their reporting obligations.