Turkey: Monthly Bulletin - June, 2019

Last Updated: 10 October 2019
Article by Gozde Gurpinar and Nureddin Türk

I. Announcements

Advance on Costs in Concordatum Changed

With the communiqué of the Ministry of Justice published in the Official Gazette dated 13.06.2019, the advance on costs tariffs to be deposited at court during the concordatum request were changed. The bankruptcy expense of TRY 17,000, which has to be paid by those subject to bankruptcy, has been reduced to TRY 15,000.

Exchange Tax on Exporters' Foreign Exchange Purchases

According to the decision published in the Official Gazette dated June 17, 2019, it is regulated that the foreign exchange tax at a rate of 1will not be charged as of 18 June 2019 for the foreign exchange purchases made by the enterprises which have industrial registration certificate and by the members of exporters' association.

II. Amendments

Regulation on Personal Health Data

According to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data, the Ministry of Health has published the Regulation on Personal Health Data in the Official Gazette dated 21 June 2019 and numbered 30808.

Per the principle in article 5 of the Regulation; "No one shall be compelled to submit or show historical health data except where necessary for health care provision." It is also regulated that all data processing principles in Law on the Protection of Personal Data (Law) will be complied with, especially the general principles in article 4 of the Law.

The Regulation also includes the relationship between lawyers and their clients. Lawyers will be able to request to transfer the health data of their clients from health instituitons to themselves only with a special provision in the power of attorney, indicating the explicit consent.

The Regulation entered into force on the date of its publication. The Regulation is prepared to meet the needs of the sector and to include necessary measures concerning the relevant data category; the Former Regulation failed on these issues. This Regulation introduces detailed explanations and methods. However, it is important to remember that it is the Personal Data Protection Board's discretion to determine whether the measures are sufficient to protect personal health data or not.

III. Decisions

Collection of Tax Debts from the Shareholders of the Limited Liability Company: The Decision of the Assembly on Unification of Judgements of the Council of State, numbered 2018/1

In the decision published in the Official Gazette on 20 June 2019, it was stated that it is not mandatory to first execute proceedings against legal representatives of limited companies to collect the tax debts from the shareholders.

The Assembly decided that it is possible to take legal proceedings against the shareholders of the company for the collection of the tax debts, which are completely or partially uncollectible from the company. The Assembly also ruled that it is not compulsory to take legal proceedings against the legal representatives before applying to shareholders of the company.

By this decision, it was revealed that there is no priority between the legal representatives and the shareholders of the company within this context. The shareholders are directly responsible for completely or partially uncollectible tax debts.

The Decision of the Personal Data Protection Board on Cathay Pacific Airways Limited dated 16.05.2019 and numbered 2019/144

Cathay Pacific Airway Limited has reported Personal Data Protection Board that unauthorized access to computer systems containing passenger information took place on 13.03.2018 and unauthorized access was detected by the company on 07.05.2018.

The events causing data violations are the unauthorized access to the database of the Customer Loyalty System and obtaining the personal data of the customers. As a result of the violations, it was understood that personal data such as names, nationalities, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, birth dates of the passengers were obtained.

The investigation carried out by the company showed a total of 1,286 people in Turkey were affected in breach of personal data, and it was determined that 155 people's passport numbers were obtained.

In its decision, the Board determined that Cathay Pacific did not take the necessary administrative and technical measures stipulated in the law and sentenced Cathay Pacific to an administrative fine of TRY 450,000.

IV. News

Maximum Number of Installments in Electronic Devices and Furnitures

With the amendment published in the Official Gazette dated June 22, 2019, it has been regulated that installments can be made up to 6 months in the sales of electronic goods and tablet computers and television and mobile phones with a price of over TRY 3,500. In addition to that, the installment period for household appliances and furniture sales is increased to 18 months. And the regulation now allows installments for non-bullion jewelry items.

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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