Turkey: Misleading Advertising Under Turkish Consumer Law

Last Updated: 19 October 2012
Article by Selmin SG Gurpinar

Under Turkish Law, advertisements are regulated under "Protection of Consumers Law" no. 4077 ("Law No.4077") and "Regulation on Principles and Application of Commercial Advertisements and Announcements" published in the Official Gazette No. 14 June 2003 and numbered 25138 ("Advertisement Regulation").

Among other types of violations cited under the legislation, "misleading advertising" constitutes an essential part of the violations due to its extensive scope and the approach of the Advertisement Board is quite strict regarding advertisements having a misleading basis.

In General

According to article 16 of the Law No. 4077, advertisements and announcements shall conform to the law; principles adopted by the Board of Advertisement, general morality, public order, personal rights and shall be true and correct. The Article further stipulates that "no advertisement, announcements or implied advertisement that is deceptive or misleading the consumer, or abusing his lack of experience or knowledge shall be allowed". Article 16/4 also sets forth that the advertiser is under the obligation to prove the material claims referred in the advertisement or the announcement.

Article 7(c) of the Advertisement Regulation provides that "advertisements shall not contain expressions or images that could mislead the consumers directly or indirectly in terms of bringing forth false impressions by providing incomplete information, leading to confusion or presenting exaggerated claims". The Regulation further states that the advertisements shall not mislead consumers in particular with the characteristics, value, payment conditions, term of delivery, guarantee, maintenance, intellectual property rights of the products.

According to article 25 of Law no. 4077, administrative measures by means of precautionary suspension and/or suspension and/or correction of the advertisement and/or administrative fine of Turkish Lira 7,3951 shall be applied depending on the severity of the violation against those who violates Article 16 of Law no. 4077. If the advertisement is published or broadcasted countrywide via printed, audio, visual and other means, the administrative fine shall be calculated as ten times more of the original fine. If the violation is repeated within the same year, the administrative fine will be doubled.

The competent authority regarding the advertisements is the Advertisement Board ("Advertisement Board" or the "Board") established under the Turkish Ministry of Industry and Trade. The Board convenes each month and reviews advertisements that is claimed to be violating the law and impose penalties on the relevant parties. "All type of advertisements and announcements" fall within the scope of the Board's duty. The Board does not only consider Law no. 4077 in its decisions but also takes into consideration the provisions of the other applicable legislation. The resolutions of the Board are published monthly in its official website. The Board is entitled to review claims as to the advertisements upon complaints or ex-officio and may seek opinion of the experts on the subject-matter of the claim such as the universities.

Among many decisions of the Board regarding misleading advertisement, the followings can be submitted as examples of the Board's approach to the misleading advertisements: in a recent decision concerning a mobile network operator, the Board decided that the statement "we are where no one can cover" is misleading as it may not technically possible for a mobile network operator to cover geographically 100% of Turkey. In another decision concerning a cleaning product, the Board imposed fine for the statement as"...with foam that lasts 4 times more" and "this gel stands 4 times more than the other leader dishwasher liquids..." which was found misleading where the claims were not scientifically proven.

Article 5 (e) of the Advertisement Regulation states that "advertisements shall be prepared by taking into account the average advertisement spectator's perception level and possible effects of the advertisement on consumers". In parallel with this article, the Board also considers the "perception of average consumer" while granting decisions. In a recent decision concerning an internet service provider's campaign, the Board concluded that giving the main information with small subtitles is misleading since average consumer will consider the visual advertisement and not the small subtitles.

Advertisement Board decisions can be challenged in administrative courts. According to article 26 of Law No. 4077, a lawsuit against Advertisement Board' decisions shall be filed within fifteen days following the notification of the decision.

Use of Statistics

Concerning misleading advertisements, especially use of statistics in advertisements requires specific attention.

Article 7(g) of Advertisement Regulation states that "advertisements shall not distort research findings or quotations from technical scientific publications. Statistics shall not be presented so that they bring about results different than the actual results. Scientific terminology shall not be used in a misleading manner. Inappropriate scientific expressions and scientific terminology that present the claims as if they have a scientific basis that does not exist in reality shall not be used in advertisements".

Misleading Advertising in Some Specific Areas of the Turkish Law

Cosmetic Legislation

Article 10 of Cosmetic Regulation published in the Official Gazette dated 23 May 2005 and numbered 25823 states that texts, names, trademarks, pictures, designs or other shapes used in advertisements shall not be used in a way misleading the consumers regarding the characteristic of the product.

Advertisement Board is particularly sensitive on cosmetic product advertisements, especially when statistics are used in the advertisement.

In an advertisement, of a cosmetic product, the Board concluded that the statements as "In an hour: smooth out wrinkles in the ratio of 60%. In a month: smooth out wrinkles in the ratio of 88%. In two months: new material development increases in the ratio of 19%" were misleading, because the scope of the research statistics were based on was too narrow and insufficient to prove a significant statistical result.

Food Legislation

Under Production, Consumption and Supervision of Foods Regulation published in the Official Gazette dated 9 June 1998 and numbered 23367 ("Food Regulation"), there is a specific provision regarding food advertisements setting forth general principles of food advertisements and misleading food advertisements. Accordingly, it is stated under the Food Regulation that among others, exaggeration, wrong scientific researches, vague statements constitute examples of misleading advertisement.

In a recent decision concerning a food product Advertisement Board concluded that the statement "100% natural" and "Turkey's first and only pudding that is 100% natural" was misleading for the consumers.


1. Approximately 3400€ as of 13 Sept. 2011.

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.

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”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
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
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

    Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of www.mondaq.com

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). 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 & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd 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 or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

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