Turkey: About The Turkish Law On Protection Of Personal Data

Last Updated: 23 December 2016
Article by Ali Yurtsever and Efe Can Akıncı

Most Popular Article in Turkey, December 2016

The Law on the Protection of Personal Data numbered 6698 published at the Legislative Journal dated April 7, 2016 and No. 29677 (the Law) has come into force at the date of its publication (Validation of Articles 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 was postponed for 6 months after the publication date and such articles have since entered into force as of October 7, 2016).

This Law sets forth certain new liabilities for the data supervisors who process the received personal data, and also, according to Article 31 Sub article 3 of the Law, data supervisors are required to make sure that the personal data that was processed prior to the publication of this Law complies with the provisions of this Law within 2 years from the date of publication (and therefore, until April 7, 2018).  


In order to review the Law of Protection of the Personal Data No. 6698, terminology used for personal data shall be inspected. Article 2 of the Law defines the personal data as "Any kind of information that belongs to a natural person (consumer, client, agency owner, company partner, employee, etc.)  whose identity is determined or may be determined". In this respect the below listed examples of data may be deemed as personal data:

  • ID Number
  • ID and Passport info
  • Residency/Contact info (phone number, address, e-mail address)
  • Image/ voice recording/photograph
  • Credit card info/ Bank account number
  • Info required for visa applications

Additionally, as per Article 6, race, ethnicity, political view, philosophical belief, religion, sect or other beliefs, dress and appearance, association and foundation memberships, health condition, sexual life, info regarding the criminal sentences and security measures, criminal records, biometric and genetic information of an individual shall also be considered as 'private personal data'.

According to Article 4, personal data may only be processed if it is stored in compliance with the law and the good faith principle, and is stored correctly and up to date, with a motive of clear, legal and specific purposes, relating to the purpose of data processing, in a limited and proportional manner and for limited duration.

Whereas Articles 5 and 6 of the Law restricts the processing of personal data and private personal data without the express consent of the data provider.

Furthermore, Articles 8 and 9 of the Law restricts the transfer of personal data to third parties and/or to abroad (to jurisdictions out of Turkey) without the express consent of the data provider.


According to the Law, persons and/or entities that store and designates the purpose and facilities of processing of personal data shall be considered as "data supervisors" and legal or natural persons that processes the data in the name of the data supervisor by the authority of the data supervisor shall be deemed as "data processors".

Therefore natural and/or legal persons that gather, keep, process and preserve such data belonging to their customers and/or clients and/or other people in their own databases shall all be considered as "data supervisors".

Liabilities of the data supervisors regarding the data security are set forth in sub article 1 of Article 12 of the Law. Accordingly, data supervisors are obliged to prevent the illegal processing of and unauthorized access to personal data and they need to take all necessary technical and administrative measures to provide the proper security level of the kept data.

In addition to the above, Article 10 of the Law sets forth that data supervisors shall be liable to provide the relative person (data provider) the following information:

  • Title of the Data Supervisor (if exists identity and address information of the data keeper)
  • Purpose of Data Processing
  • To whom and with what purpose the data can be transferred to
  • Legal reason and method of the data gathering
  • Other liabilities regarding the rights of individuals mentioned in the Article 11

As it is mentioned above and in addition to the liabilities set forth at Article 10 of the Law, the data supervisors are also obliged to fulfil the liabilities set forth in Article 11 of the Law. Pursuant to Article 11, relevant persons who submit their personal data to data supervisors shall have the right to submit a request to the data supervisors in order to; "get information whether their data is processed or not, demand information if its processed, find out the purpose of the data process and whether the information given is used accordingly to its purpose by applying to data keepers, learn about the third persons who nationally/internationally receives the data, demand correction if the processed information is wrong or missing, request the extinguishment/deletion or removal of the data if it actualizes the conditions, demanding some operations to be notified to third person who will receive the information, object if the processed information created results against himself/herself and claim damages in case of illegal data processing".


In addition to the liabilities of the data supervisors, Article 16 also sets forth that for every natural or legal person that is considered as a data supervisor shall be required to register to the Data Supervisors Registry which shall be established by the Institution of  Personal Data Protection Presidency.

Article 18  sub article 'c' sets forth an administrative fine between TRL 20,000 and TRL 1,000,000 for the data supervisors that do not comply with this registration requirement in due time.

However, since the aforementioned registry is not yet established (as of December 22, 2016 when this information note is drafted), such registration obligation is not currently in force for data supervisors. An additional regulation concerning this matter is expected to be issued within the following months and procedures and principles regarding the registration are expected to be defined therein.


According to Article 17 of the Law, Articles between 135 and 140 of the Turkish Criminal Code No. 5237 shall continue to be applied for crimes regarding personal data (crimes of unauthorized recording of personal data, illegal disclosing or acquisition of personal data and   failure to dispose of the personal data).

Article 7 sets forth that data supervisors who fail to delete, dispose or make the personal data anonymous after the cause of data processing disappears and/or the data provider demands for such actions, shall be subject to legal proceedings as per Article 138 of Law No 5237.

In addition to the related Articles of Turkish Criminal Code, data supervisors who are found to be in breach of the relevant liabilities set forth in the Law shall also be subject to administrative fines between TRL 5,000 and TRL 1,000,000.

The Personal Data Protection Board is authorized to supervise the liabilities and administer the sanctions set forth by the Law.


Pursuant to Articles 19 and 20 of the Law, an Institution of Personal Data Protection shall be established which shall be directly attached to the Prime Minister's Office.

This Institution, of which it's duties are designated by the Law and which is established in conformity with the European Councils Agreement of Protection of Individuals in the Course of Automatic Data Processing numbered 108 and EU's Data Protection Directive numbered 95/45/EC, shall be an autonomous institutions with regards to its financial and administrative actions. This Institution shall have two main bodies as the 'Board' and 'Presidency' of the Personal Data Protection Institution.

Duties of the Board are as noted below:

  • Keeping the Registry of Data Keepers
  • Applying the administrative sanctions mentioned in the law numbered 6698
  • Defining the necessary precautions for processing the Private Personal Data
  • Making the decisions for the complaints about the breach of rights regarding the personal data protection
  • Examining the legality of the processing of the personal data upon a complaint or by itself and take the required measures if necessary
  • Rulemaking about the duties of the Board and the running of the institution

As noted above, personal data to be processed and saved after October 7, 2016 shall be processed and kept in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

Furthermore, the data that was obtained, saved and processed before the publication date of the Law, April 7, 2016, shall comply with the provisions of this Law by no later than April 7, .2018.

It should also be noted that that all such liabilities within the scope of this Law should be considered together with the liabilities set forth by the Law of E-Commerce No. 6563 and mutual solutions must be produced to satisfy the liabilities of both such laws. Although the liabilities of the both laws are similar in certain aspects, other sections of the laws such as the competent authorities, official permits and audits differ from each other. Due to such differences between the two laws, one single act may cause two different legal breaches and may be sanctioned separately.

To avoid such possible violations and the implementations of sanctions, those who are deemed as data supervisors should take certain precautions for the purposes. In this respect, it may be ideal for the data supervisors to sign a new and updated Protection of Personal Data Agreement (or a Confidentiality Agreement) with their data providers (clients, customers, members etc.) which complies with the new rights and obligations of the Law.

Data supervisors should also consider to draft and send a notice to their old data providers who provided their personal data before October 7, 2016, informing them on the new rights and obligations implemented with the new Law (this notification should also inform the data providers about their right to demand the deletion or anonymization of their data).

Furthermore, it may also be recommended for data supervisors to inform and educate their relevant personnel and executives regarding these new rights and obligations and obtain additional letters of commitments along with their current or to be executed employment contracts to minimize future the risk of violations.

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 Video
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
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

    Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of www.mondaq.com

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). 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 & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd 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 or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions