In a step toward its accession to the EU, Turkey has enacted its
first comprehensive Data Protection Law. The law was passed by the
Turkish Parliament 24 March and published in the Official Gazette 7
The law is based largely on the EU Data Protection Directive
(95/46/EC), and as such introduces familiar definitions of
'personal data', 'data processor', and 'data
controller'. There are, however, some novelties such as a
definition of 'explicit consent', which has been lacking
under EU law. The law also introduces restrictions on the
international transfer of data.
The law provides for the establishment of two new bodies: the
Personal Data Protection Authority (the Authority) and the Board of
Personal Data Protection (the Board). These bodies will together be
responsible for ensuring that the law is enforced. Once
established, the Authority will have the power to impose fines of
up to €300,000 and prison sentences of up to four years in
Organisations with operations in Turkey will need to review
their data practices in-country to ensure that they comply with the
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