The Ministry of Customs and Trade ("Ministry") published the Regulation on Shopping Malls ("Regulation") in the Official Gazette dated 26.02.2016 and numbered 29636 in order to determine the qualifications of shopping malls and lay down the procedures and principles to be applied in relation to their openings, activities and audits. The Regulation has been enacted on the basis of the Retail Trade Act No. 6585 which entered into force on 29.01.2015.
Definition of Shopping Malls
The Regulation specifies the qualifications of the shopping malls. Accordingly, a shopping mall is required to have at least 5,000 sqm sales area, a central management, communal areas, and shall have
- at least 10 workplaces where a part or whole of the eating, clothing, entertainment, recreation, cultural and similar necessities are met provided that at least 1 of which shall be big store, or
- at least 30 workplaces where a part or whole of the eating, clothing, entertainment, recreation, cultural and similar necessities are met in case there is not workplace having the attributes of a big store.
The authority to issue, alter or renew construction permit, building utilization permit and workplace opening and operating license is granted to (i) metropolitan municipalities in metropolitan cities, (ii) municipalities in other places if within the borders of municipality and areas in the vicinity thereof and (iii) special provincial administrations if outside the borders of municipality and areas in the vicinity thereof.
The shopping malls are required to provide areas, for free, such as social and cultural event area, emergency medical intervention unit, prayer room, baby-care room, children playground and resting areas as well as other areas that are mandatory for common usage, protection and benefit. The forming of communal areas and the liability arising from the usage thereof are laid down clearly in the Regulation. Accordingly; the owner of the shopping mall are obliged to establish such communal areas in conformity with the Regulation and the relevant standards of the Turkish Standards Institute. The owner of the shopping mall and the management shall be jointly responsible for the use of the shopping mall in accordance with its purpose, taking safety precautions for accidents and incidents that might occur in there and carrying out other obligations in relation to such areas.
There are important provisions with respect to common expenses. First, it is explicitly explained what items of expenses can be accepted as common expenses. Accordingly; these are the expenses that occur in certain periods such as maintenance, security and cleaning and which are not related to the rights in rem in the shopping mall and which do not have the attributes of electricity, water, heating, renovation utilities. However other than for such common expenses, in order to request share of payment for common benefit oriented services such as marketing and management; such shall be laid down in the agreement to be signed between the lessee (retail businesses) and the lessor (the shopping mall owners/management company). No fee under the name of common expenses other than the above stated items may be requested from the retail businesses that are engaged in activities as lessees.
Common expense shares of payments shall be calculated and paid over Turkish Lira. The income obtained from the communal areas shall be used for meeting the common expenses. It is clearly stated that the common expense shares pertaining to non-leased workplaces shall be paid by the owners of such workplaces.
Apart from the abovementioned articles, the Regulation has also introduced criteria in order for a shopping mall to be considered as an outlet shopping mall. Furthermore, important and detailed provisions have been included with respect to allocation of places in respect of protecting the craft and related trades workers and also the executers of traditional, cultural and almost extinct professions due to the rapid growth of shopping malls in the market.
Supervision and Penalties
The Ministry is entitled to conduct investigations and implement administrative penalties to the shopping malls failing to comply with the provisions of the Regulation.
Implementation of the Regulation
The Regulation entered into force on 26.02.2016.
Please contact us if you have questions about how the Regulation might affect your entity.
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.