Turkey: Electronic Banking And Security

Last Updated: 12 June 2009
Article by M. Volkan Dülger

Electronic banking in Turkey is becoming widespread in number due to lower operating costs associated with it.

As it was in the form of automatic teller machines and telephone transactions formerly, the banking sector is now providing internet usage to build up a new delivery channel for banking services so as to provide much lower costs. In this matter, there have been great investments and practices recently. As well as for customer orientated transactions, the information technology is also being used for interbank affairs such as electronic check clearing system and direct debit system. Thus, it has also provided a change in banking sector structure due to the fact that no traditional bank would stand without an internet strategy.

Now Turkish Banks are aware of the fact above and offering a wider range of services, in another name "online banking" from their internet branches. As banks have their own websites, customers are able to manage their transactional applications via such websites including credit card transactions, money transferring from account to account, application for a loan, opening up a new account etc. In practice, banks make a contract with the customers within the framework of the general banking provisions and set a password for customer to access to the system. With options just a click away, customers most widely-use credit cards with online transactions which improve efficiency and effectiveness of online banking. At this point it is necessary to take a look at the security measures on the ground to eradicate fraud in electronic banking.

To provide security on internet banking, some programs called SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and SET (Secure Electronic Transactions) have been developed. As these programs being used by most banks in Turkey, it is provided that any party in the electronic trading cannot see the password of the credit card of another. This is because; the programs encode every data between customer (card bearer), trading firm and the bank. Therefore, it would prevent anyone from decoding the passwords or any other data. Another security system is called the usage of so-called "virtual card". Normally, a virtual card does not have any limit and by using such card, the customer only authorizes the bank to withdraw money from the actual account of the customer.

While banks are benefiting from technology to better protect their systems and to prevent any illegal interference, the current legislation in force, also imposes them some responsibilities and liabilities. Firstly, the banks are liable to inform their customers of the new technological systems applied by the bank and the risk factors. The bank should also assist the customers in protecting their account safety. In this respect, for instance, in each entrance to the bank's website, the banks declare the last card usage with the date and other details in advance of next transaction with card. Besides, customers should be informed of their expenses exceeding their limits or of the orders given from exceptional IP addresses than a usual one. The other liability of the banks is to take measures concerning system operation and prevention of data errors. If any error occurs, damage to be incurred, would be on the bank.

By the reason of problems arising from credit card usage, Code of Banking and Credit Cards numbered 5464 was enacted on 23rd February 2006. With the 8th clause therein, card issuers are obliged to institute a system which provides secure utilization of cards and takes relevant measures for the effective filing of notifications, complaints and claims. In addition to this provision, article 15 provides that at the end of each use of a credit card, the card holder should be provided with a receipt proving the purchase and the banks are required to draw up a confirmation deed before effecting a payment to trading firm.

Another problematic issue of internet banking is customers' money in bank deposit accounts being transferred to another account by third parties who decode the passwords. These fraudulent activities, mostly performed by spy programs spreader on the internet. Banks, usually, are confronted with such customers whose accounts are emptied by an illegal interference. Banks, in such a situation, tend to protect themselves by alleging that they have no liability related to these illegal transactions due to non-liability clauses imposed in contracts against the customer. But in recent decisions of the Court of Appeal, it is ruled that banks also have liability to provide sufficient protection for the customer against such illegal interventions of third parties via internet.

So in addition to the legislation in force regarding banking transaction, the interpretation of such legislation or any possible gaps in the legislation by the courts usually be in favor of customer in order to provide sufficient protection to the customer who is considered as more vulnerable than a bank. However, this, of course, would not mean that the card holders would have no liability regarding their electronic banking activities. Indeed, a deposit account owner is responsible of duly protection of his/her security as well.

In a recent case before the Court of Appeal the plaintiff's online account was tried to be decoded many times by an outsider and the money in the account was transferred by sixteen different transactions. The defendant (bank) imputed negligence on the plaintiff that he was not using virtual keyboard and not providing his personal computer secured. The Court of Appeal held that there was a negligence of the plaintiff by not obeying the security measures applied by the bank. According to the decision, banks are liable for the slight negligence arising from not complying with duty of objective care as they are considered to be institutions of trust. Basis of this valuation relies on the "theory of trust" which is regulated under article 2 of the Turkish Civil Code. However, it is unfair to hold banks solely liable for illegal intervention to the computer system of the customer as it is not within the area of control of the banks. (Court of Appeal, M.2006/7341, D.22/06/2006). There exists other decisions that indicate the liability of customers who do not provide the sufficient care for the security tools such as passwords which are specifically given for the internet banking. In one of these cases, the Court of Appeal held that the bank has no liability for the damages occurred on customer's side due to the illegal decoding of the password as it occurred due to the fact that the customer was not sufficiently protecting his computer system. (Court of Appeal, M.2003/7705,D.12/09/2003).

In fact, despite of the above stated decisions, it is not always so easy to determine on which side of the dispute there exists a security gap. The lack of sufficient number of precedents is another problem for the practicians to interpret the matters before them. However, by reading the interpretations of the Court of Appeal between the lines of their decisions, we may say that in case of an illegal intervention to a bank account, determination of evidence, as an initial step, would have a vital importance for the protection of the rights of the customer in order to prove that the customer has already taken every necessary measure to protect his computer system as the Court of Appeal considers that the computers of those customers claiming compensation must have an anti-virus program set up as a protection for the outside attacks.

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