Turkey: Liberalization Efforts Continue In The Telecommunications Market

The Telecommunications Authority ("Authority") continues to introduce new authorizations/licenses to further liberalize the telecommunications market in Turkey. In addition to the below listed services recently authorized, the Authority issued -on its website- a new draft authorization for public opinion concerning the provision of "Terrestrial Digital Platform Services", which is defined as the ‘operation of terrestrial digital platform network/infrastructure and the single/dual communication of any voice, data, image and encrypted/unencrypted radio/television signals over such network through the channels exclusively allocated to broadcast over the said network’. Once this authorization is available, it will revolutionize the way to access multimedia services and contribute to further convergence of telecommunications and broadcasting services, while enhancing competition in the broadband market.

Infrastructure Operation Services

We previously reported about the draft authorization proposed by the Authority, for provision of infrastructure establishment and operation services. As of 7 September 2005, this authorization became part of the Regulation on Authorization of Telecommunications Services and Infrastructure ("Authorization Regulation") and, upon determination of the fees on 8 November 2005, the operators can now apply to the Authority to obtain such license. It is encouraging to see that the requirements to establish a minimum of 200km transmission facilities and start operations within three years following the obtainment of a license, which were highly criticized by the market players, were not included in the final scope of the license. The definition of transmission infrastructure remains limited to facilities such as cable, R/L or optic or other physical means to be determined by the Authority, which enables transmission of data that may be converted into signs, symbols, voice, image and electricity signals. Furthermore, this authorization will be granted for 25 years and on a regional basis. However, the operators may be authorized to provide infrastructure services in several regions under separate licences. Finally, the holders of this authorization cannot provide telephony services based on such authorization.

Wireless Internet Services Provision

Annex-A6 of the Authorization Regulation ("Annex-A6") regulating Internet Service Providers ("ISP") has been amended on 15 November 2005 in order to include wireless internet services as part of ISPs. Unfortunately, certain criticisms have arisen because the operators are required to obtain certain infrastructure from other infrastructure providers and/or to obtain a separate license to establish such infrastructure themselves. Furthermore, ISPs cannot provide telephony services based on this authorization.

The operators authorized to provide internet services under Annex-A6 before the effectiveness date of the above mentioned amendment, i.e., 15 November 2005, will be deemed authorized to provide all internet services set forth under the revised Annex-A6. Accordingly, they will be authorized to provide wireless internet services without being required to obtain another authorization.

Service Quality

The draft Regulation on Service Quality in the Telecommunications Sector has entered into force as of 3 March 2005. The regulation aims to bring the telecommunication services and telecommunication infrastructure services to national and international service quality standards by determining service quality criteria for connection periods; malfunctions for each access line; correction periods of malfunctions; unsuccessful call rates; establishment periods for calls; responding periods for operation services; responding periods for directory services; payphones and invoice complaints; and leased lines.

Moreover, pursuant to the regulation, operators are now required to publish comprehensible, comparable and up-to-date information regarding the quality level of their services. The operators providing fixed line telephony services and having significant market power should submit a quarterly report on their service quality to the Authority on the 15th day of January, April, July and October of every year at the latest. Furthermore, all operators providing mobile telephony services (regardless of having significant market power or not) are also required to quarterly provide the Authority with a report on service quality criteria determined under the concession agreements, and a report on call blockage rates, unsuccessful call rates, establishment periods for calls and invoice complaints on the 15th day of January, April, July and October of every year at the latest. In addition, the Communiqué on the Measurement of Service Quality Liabilities of Operators Providing GSM Mobile Telephony Services has entered into force on 15 December 2005. Among other specific provisions, the said communiqué sets forth that compliance with service quality requirements will be determined by third parties based on measurements made at the residential areas having at least 10,000 habitants.

Directory Services

The provision of directory services, which is defined as the provision of information, sometimes further processed, obtained from the number databases of the operators providing telephony services, has also been liberalized as of 6 July 2006. In addition to telephone numbers, information such as fax numbers, e-mail addresses and professional information may also be included in the directories provided that prior authorization is obtained from the relevant persons. Furthermore, the operators providing directory services may also provide value added services and they are entitled to build and operate the necessary infrastructure. The authorization period is 15 years and the directory services provided by Türk Telekom and GSM operators will cease within six months as of 6 July 2006. Furthermore, as of the date of the first authorization for directory services, Türk Telekom and GSM operators will be obligated, for two years, to announce in their invoices that directory services are being/will be provided by other firms via five digit numbers (i.e. 118**). On the other hand, it is noteworthy that the Council of Ministers has still not determined the fee for the authorization regarding directory services and that no authorization can be granted before the relevant fee is announced.

Long Distance Telephony Services ("LDTS")

Finally, the procedure and principles for provision of LDTS have been determined under a communiqué, which entered into force on 10 June 2006. It sets forth the rights and duties of LDTS providers, the liability of Türk Telekom for responding to demands of LDTS providers regarding traffic transfers between networks and also determines the relations between LDTS providers and their agencies.

Cable Platform Services

Despite the necessary amendments to the Authorization Regulation on 5 February 2005 and the grant of long-awaited licenses on 24 April 2005, there are still serious obstacles for the provision of cable platform services in Turkey. Such obstacles mostly relate to the availability of the relevant infrastructure by TURKSAT, the company that has executed revenue sharing agreements with cable platform service provider firms, which alleges that the infrastructure is owned by it upon termination of the revenue sharing agreements following the grant of the relevant licenses; whereas, cable platform service provider firms allege that the infrastructure should be owned by them following a settlement to be agreed upon with TURKSAT. TURKSAT has filed actions against the cable platform service providers in order to prevent them from using the infrastructure and demanded preliminary injunctions. So far, only one preliminary injunction has been granted out of three demands filed against three firms. On the other hand, the cable platform service providers have not been receiving any revenue share from TURKSAT after granting of the licenses, i.e., April 2005, due to the fact that their revenue sharing agreements are deemed terminated and they would probably file actions against TURKSAT to obtain the relevant revenue share. Until the dispute is settled, the consumers are likely to encounter serious disruptions in cable services.

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”

Related Topics
Related Articles
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
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.


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.


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