The Law on Electronic Commerce ("the
Law") which has been pending for approval by the
Turkish Parliament for the past 3 years has finally been passed on
October 23, 2014. However, the Law will enter into force as of May
The aim of the Law is to harmonize the Turkish e-commerce
legislation with the Directive 2000/31/EC of the European
Parliament and of the Council on Certain Legal Aspects of
Information Society Services, in Particular Electronic Commerce, in
the Internal Market ("Directive on Electronic
The Law regulates the procedures and principles on e-commerce.
It aims to create a more secure, transparent and accessible
e-commerce environment to extend the use of e-commerce in Turkey.
The implementation of the Law will be provided by secondary
legislations prepared by the Ministry of Customs and Trade.
The Law provides that prior to executing an electronic
agreement, the service provider must provide the buyer with
detailed information regarding the terms of the electronic
agreement, including but not limited to; easy access to up-to-date
introductory information, technical steps necessary for formation
of an electronic agreement, and information on whether the
agreement will be stored by the service provider after the
formation of the electronic agreement and whether the buyer will
have access to the agreement and for how long such access shall
Pursuant to Article 4 of the Law, before the buyer's payment
details are submitted, service providers shall have to ensure that
the buyer sees all of the terms of the agreement clearly, including
but not limited to the total purchase price with respect to orders
placed via electronic media.
The service provider shall also immediately confirm through
electronic communication devices that the buyer's order has
Another obligation of service providers under the Law is that
before the order is placed, the service provider shall provide the
buyer with appropriate, efficient and accessible technical tools so
that the buyer can detect and correct any data which has been
In case parties to an e-commerce agreement are not consumers by
virtue of Turkish law, they can determine to act contrary to the
However, agreements made through e-mail or similar personal
communication devices are exempted from these principles on orders
placed through electronic communication devices.
In case of commercial communications, the Law provides that
adequate information which clearly procures the commercial
communication and the identity of the real person or legal entity
that the commercial communication was made on behalf of shall be
provided. Moreover, any trade communications promoting discounts,
gifts or promotional competitions or games must clearly express its
purpose, and any information regarding the participation to such
games or competitions must be comprehensive and easy to access.
According to the Law, sending commercial electronic messages is
subject to the approval of the receiver. On the other hand, it is
worth noting that commercial electronic messages can be sent to
merchants and tradesmen without their prior approval.
Service providers and intermediary service providers are liable
for the protection and security of personal information acquired
within the scope of the Law. Additionally, service providers and
intermediary service providers cannot use the aforementioned
personal information for any other purpose and cannot disclose such
information to third parties.
The Law provides specific punitive measures for wrongful acts
against the provisions of the Law. However, the Law fails to
provide any measures for any failure of protection of personal
information. Although implementation of the Law will be provided by
secondary legislations, failure to address such a vital issue is a
setback of the Law.
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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