On 28 July, 2020, a new amendment to the Internet Law, which is Law no. 5651 on the Regulation of Broadcasts via the Internet and the Prevention of Crimes Committed Through such Broadcasts, has been introduced. Through this amendment, the term "Social Network Providers" has been also brought into the regulatory scheme. Accordingly, important obligations have been set out for social network providers, which are accessed more than 1 million times daily from within Turkey. One such requirements is appointing a representative of the respective "Social Network Provider" in Turkey.
These amendments has entered into force on October 1, 2020 whilst the remaining will enter into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.
What is a "social network providers"? The amendment designates the term as "on the Regulation of Broadcasts via the Internet and the Prevention of Crimes Committed Through such Broadcasts".
Social network providers established outside of Turkey, which are accessed more than 1 million times daily from Turkey are under obligation to appoint at least one representative in Turkey and must alert the Information and Communication Technologies Authority ("ICTA") of this representative and declare the representative on its own website. These steps are expected to reinforce communications with foreign social network providers for the removal requests as to content of individuals and judicial authorities.
Rigid enforcement measures are announced against social network providers who fail to accomplish the aforementioned obligations.
In case of non-compliance, the ICTA will initially notify the social network provider who failed to meet its obligations with regards to the representative's appointment and notice with an administrative fine of TRY 10 million may be enforced if the failure proceeds for 30 days. If the violation is not alleviated within 30 days, an administrative fine of TRY 30 million may be imposed. If the social network provider still does not fulfil its obligations, Turkish tax payers may be prohibited from placing advertisements on the social network provider's platform and may not sign any new agreement or transfer money to the social network provider. If the social network provider still does not accomplish compliance within 3 months, its internet traffic bandwidth may be at the beginning burked by at least 50% and later up to 90%.
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