Turkey: Employee Data Privacy - A Regional Overview

Last Updated: 29 June 2011

Introduction

All employers collect, handle and use employee personal data. Most jurisdictions have laws regulating such collection, handling and use of employee personal data. With increasing globalization and mobility of employees and the relative ease with which data can be transferred between legal entities and across borders complying with all requirement relating to personal data has become an increasingly diffi cult exercise. This publication attempts to ease such burden.

This publication covers 26 diff erent jurisdictions in EMEA. For each of the jurisdictions covered we asked the following questions:

  1. Is there a law/Code or other similar document regulating the collection, use and/or handling of an employee's personal data in your jurisdiction?
  2. Is there a legal requirement to have a document (e.g. privacy policy, personal information collection statement, agreement) to deal with the employee's personal data?
  3. For how long must an employer retain an employee's personal data? What is best practice?
  4. What are the legal restrictions on transferring employees' personal data outside your country?
  5. What are the legal restrictions on transferring employees' personal data to a third party?
  6. What are the consequences of breaching privacy laws in your jurisdiction?
  7. What are the main pitfalls or areas to watch out for in your jurisdiction regarding the collection, use and/or handling of an employee's personal data?

We have set out the answers to each of these questions in two diff erent formats. Section 1 contains an Executive Summary of each jurisdiction responses. This is intended to be a short - "at a glance" - overview of the position. Section 2 contains the more substantive answers to the questions.

We do hope that you fi nd this publication useful. It has been made possible with the input from lawyers in leading law fi rms in each jurisdictions. Should you wish to contact the lawyers in any of the jurisdictions, their contact details are set out at the last Section of this publication.

The Expanded Answer To The Questions By Jurisdiction

REPUBLIC OF TURKIYE ("TURKIYE")

A. Is there a law/Code or other similar document regulating the collection, use and/or handling of an employee's personal data in your jurisdiction? There are no specifi c regulations in Turkiye in terms of collection, use or process of personal data. However, a number of laws deal with the protection and privacy of personal data; such as the Turkish Constitutional Law, Turkish Civil Code, Turkish Criminal Code, Turkish Labour Code, and Banking Act.

Article 20 of the Turkish Constitutional Law (Law No. 2709) (published in the Offi cial Gazette dated November 9, 1982 and numbered 17863 as amended from time to time) regulates the privacy of private life and provides that:

"Everyone has the right to demand respect for his private and family life. Privacy of individual and family life cannot be violated."

Furthermore, the foregoing article prohibits the search or seizure of any individual, his private papers, or his belongings unless there exists a decision duly passed by a judge on grounds such as national security, public order or prevention of crime; and unless there exists an order of an agency authorized by law in cases where delay is deemed prejudicial. In addition Article 22 of the Turkish Constitutional Law preserves the secrecy of communication.

The Turkish Civil Code (Law No. 4721) (published in the Offi cial Gazette dated December 8, 2001, No. 24607) sets out a number of provisions with respect to the protection of personal privacy as well as the Banking Act numbered 5411 (published in the Offi cial Gazette dated November 1, 2005, No. 25983), which also provides a number of provisions dealing with the protection of confi dentiality of data concerning the customers of banks. Please refer to the sections below for the related provisions under Turkish Criminal Code and Turkish Labour Code.

B. Is there a legal requirement to have a document (e.g., privacy policy, personal information collection statement, agreement) to deal with the employee's personal data?

Pursuant to Article 75 of Turkish Labour Code (published in the Offi cial Gazette dated June 10, 2003 and numbered 25134), employers shall prepare a personnel fi le for each of their employees to include all kinds of information, documents and records besides the employee's identifi cation data. The said fi le shall be prepared in accordance with the Turkish Labour Code and other laws. The personal data in the personnel fi le must be kept strictly confi dential other than disclosing it to authorized offi cers and authorities upon request.

C. For how long must an employer retain an employee's personal data? What is the best practice?

Turkish Labour Code does not provide a specifi c time limit to retain the personal data. However, under Turkish law, in relation to the issues on which no time limits have been regulated, the general provisions of the Code of Obligations (published in the Offi cial Gazette dated May 8, 1926 and numbered 366) apply which set forth a time limit of 10 years.

In light of the above, we are of the opinion that the personal data shall be kept for 10 years following the termination of employment relationship.

D. What are the legal restrictions on transferring employees' personal data outside your jurisdiction?

Save for those that may constitute exceptions to the following general rule, in order to transfer the personal data to foreign countries and disclose the same or a part thereof to a foreign court or other foreign state authority, prior written consent of the employee should be obtained.

E. What are the legal restrictions on transferring employees' personal data to a third party?

Please note that the Turkish Criminal Code (No. 5237) (published in the Offi cial Gazette dated October 12, 2004 and numbered 25611) regulates the violation of privacy of the private life, and it provides that storage, transmission, reception, deletion or destruction of personal data unlawfully may be punished in diff erent manners including imprisonment.

F. What are the consequences of breaching privacy laws in your jurisdiction?

The Criminal Code provides that unlawful storage of personal data is subject to a penalty of imprisonment from six months to three years. In the case of unlawful transmission or reception of personal data, the penalty is increased to imprisonment from one year to four years. In the event that such crime is committed by government offi cials or to facilitate the performance of a profession, the punishment shall be increased by half.

Furthermore, those who do not delete or destroy the Personal Data in spite of the expiry of the time period stipulated in the relevant laws for the maintenance of such data shall be punished by imprisonment from six months to one year.

Since there is no defi nition of "unlawful" under the laws, the term "unlawful" in this context may be interpreted as storage or transmission of personal data without the consent of the relevant individuals.

G. What are the main pitfalls or areas to watch out for in your jurisdiction regarding the collection, use and/or handling of an employee's personal data?

As previously stated, there are no specifi c regulations in Turkiye in terms of collection, use or process of personal data. Therefore, to avoid any inconveniences, a prior consent letter with a suitable content should be obtained from the employee.

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.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Erdem & Erdem Law
 
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”

Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Erdem & Erdem Law
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must 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