Turkey: Draft Law On Shopping Malls In Turkey

Last Updated: 2 February 2015
Article by Safak Herdem

Turkey has been becoming a "shopping mall heaven" ever since 1988 which is the time that the first shopping mall was built in Turkey. The sector is now more than twenty five years old and has had an effective acceleration up to now without any specific legislation. Both the increase of the malls and direct effect to the market from competition perspective required to regulate the sector and the draft law which includes both arrangements of the retail trade and the shopping malls have been started to handle by Industry Commission of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey

As regulated in draft law the word of "shopping mall" refers to a management that has a building or an integrity of the areas and other business places, a central administration and common use areas; provides big stores for food, wear shopping, entertainment, resting, cultural and similar needs completely or partially.

The draft law comprises under the definition of the retail management the malls, big stores, chain store, dealer managements, special authority managements and all other mercantile businesses, tradesman and crafts that involves in the retail trade.

According to the resolution dispatched to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on the August, the permissions of the retail stores are going to be executed by the PERBIS, called retail information system which is going to be founded by the Industrial Ministry, unless there occurs a change in the meetings of the General Assembly. PERBIS is going to be in charge of determining the processes of the beginning and closing of the managements and their activities, transmitting them to the related institutions, evaluating, concluding and collecting the data of the managements, then after that, sharing the information.

PERBIS is going to have an access to the institutions and establishments related to the Ministry and the electronically registration system that care of those institutions will be connected to each other via online. The retail stores will be able to have the permission of the business & trade license, work permit only from the PERBIS.

The building license, occupancy permit, beginning a business or the work permits to the shopping malls will be given until the foundation of the PERBIS in accordance with the existing legislation. Those permits will be given by the metropolitan municipalities in the big cities, taking thoughts of the some other commissions into consideration.

After the PERBIS is established, all data belongs to the retail managements will be transferred to the new system within a year. The ministry can extend this time interval at most two times one apiece year. Also the rejected results of the applications of beginning new businesses which are not found appropriate will be notified at most in 30 days within the valid reasons.

In case the draft law is passed, small retailers, handicraftsmen and small business owners can have a condition to carry on their businesses much more, as saying that since our small business owners had real difficulties to doing businesses efficiently, this law can be an opportunity for them to survive. In the press conference of the Ministry of Customs and Trade, Nurettin Canikli, it is explained that in the shopping malls, some places and shelves will be allocated for the handicraftsmen specifically.

Besides, some handicrafts sunk into oblivion are going to take their place in the shopping malls. For example; in Bursa, various handicrafts disappearing such as cutlery, ceramics, the art of tile-making will start to take part in the malls. Not only well known brands, but also the small businesses and the local brands will take place in the shopping centers from now on more. The shopping malls that is now going to be supposed to meet the cultural and similar needs will not serve for solely the shopping purposes, they are going to get shaped as more social places. Also the duration of the campaign sales in the malls will not exceed three months. 

After applying the rules of the law, for example; in the closed days that will be determined by the governors, the consumers can tend more towards the small businesses such as greengrocers, millineries, etc., therefore the small retailers may have a chance to increase their total sales and turnover.

Furthermore, since there is no shift system in the shopping centers, the personnel have to work even in the religious and official holidays. Thus, some certain arrangements will be applied to the working system of the employees. Also at first, there was an opinion supported by the people who thought that it might better to close the shopping malls on Sundays like some countries in Europe in order to decrease some possible negative social events. However, this idea may not give logical results hereinbefore and cause some negations from the trade and economics side. According to the President of the Claiming Consumers' Right Association, if this system is applied in terms of the Sundays' issue, it can bring some disadvantages in its wake. For instance; an amount of the dismissal of the employees can occur, because of the determined closed days. Since the firms are going to need less number of the employee, they tend to reduce the number of working people. Finally, those unemployed personnel should be considered in terms of the economics and commerce dimension, too.

The draft law also proposes that there is going to be perpetual bargaining sale which means end of line products, season-end, export leftover goods, defective and similar units will be sold by the retail stores at the discounted prices or factory price in the whole year. The retail stores that keep perpetual clearance sales are going to have some insightful and easily seen inscriptions to show those discounts in the display cases or inside the stores.

Furthermore, the shopping malls, big stores, chain stores and other business organizations is going to have an obligatory to provide parking area for the customers according to the physical development planning law. In the shopping centers, at least fifth of the thousands of the sales place will be allocated in order to organize both social and cultural events. Also common use areas that are going to be regulated with regards to the needs of disabled, old people, children such as emergency response unit, prayer room, child care room, playground, etc. will be generated in the malls.

Taking into consideration of the conditions of the occupations, seasons or tourism types and the similar situations, most of the retail stores' working hours can be determined by the governor, after the common proposal of the professional organizations, receiving the opinions of the authorized commissions. 

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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Safak Herdem
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