The omnibus bill numbered 6552 ("Omnibus
Bill") has been published in the Official Gazette
dated September 11, 2014.
Contents of the Omnibus Bill has caused controversy and debate
between the ruling AK Party and the opposition Republican
People's Party ("CHP").
The Omnibus Bill has amended the Law on Regulation of
Publications on the Internet and Suppression of Crimes Committed by
Means of such Publications numbered 5651 ("Internet
Law"). With the new amendments in force, the Internet
Law now provides that all decisions of judicial authorities
restricting access to a certain website shall be enforced within 4
hours. Prior to the Omnibus Bill, this period was 24 hours.
Moreover, a new paragraph has been added to Article 8 of the
Internet Law by virtue of the Omnibus Bill empowering of the
Presidency of Telecommunications
("Presidency") to directly request
access providers to restrict access to certain websites upon
instructions of the Presidency's chairman where delay in doing
so would adversely affect national security, public order and
prevention of crimes. The access providers are obliged to carry out
the Presidency's instructions within 4 hours upon receipt of
such instructions. However, such restriction will have to be
presented by the Presidency to the judge presiding of the criminal
court for approval within 24 hours. The judge will then announce
his/her decision within 48 hours.
Another important issue regulated by the Omnibus Bill is the
article relating to privatizations. In this respect, the Omnibus
Bill prohibits any transaction to repossess premises pursuant to
any judicial decision where the said premises have been allocated
by the Privatization Authority through a tender that concluded more
than 5 years prior to the Omnibus Bill. The exceptions under the
relevant agreement have been reserved.
However, this 5 year period will be calculated starting from the
date on which all transactions regarding delivery of the premises
have been completed (i.e. tenders and delivery of the premises
completed on or before September 10, 2009 will benefit from this
Apart from the above, the headline of the matters regulated
under the Omnibus Bill is the tax amnesty. The Omnibus Bill
introduces tax amnesties for public debts such as customs tax,
social security payments and taxes within the scope of the Tax
Procedural Law numbered 213.
As announced by the Head of the Treasury Mr. Mehmet
Şimşek, the Omnibus Bill does not waive the tax fines
imposed on the taxpayers. However, the taxpayers can be released
from their duties arising from the delay fines, interests, late
fees, administrative fines etc. accrued in relation to the
principal amount of the public debt, by paying the inflation
difference instead of the abovementioned fines or penalties. This
tax amnesty will be applicable for public debts accrued on or
before April 30, 2014.
On a final note, CHP has announced that they will appeal to the
Turkish Constitutional Court against some of the provisions
introduced by the Omnibus Bill.
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.
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