Edition 58: 4 January 2018
Editorial Team:
Orçun Çetinkaya, LL.M., Ezgi Baklacı, LL.M., and Pelin Oğuzer, LL.M.
Turkey Increases Corporate Tax by 2%, Plus Announces Other Changes to Corporate Tax Regime

Turkey has announced a series of changes to the Corporate Tax Law number 5520. Notably, corporate tax will increase from 20% to 22% for 2018, 2019 and 2020. Changes also apply to the scope and percentage of certain exemptions to corporate tax.

Notable changes to the corporate tax regime include:

– The corporate tax rate increases from 20% to 22% for 2018, 2019 and 2020.

– If revenues recorded from sale of immovables are kept within the company’s assets for at least two full years, a portion will be exempt from corporate tax. The portion is reduced from 75% to 50%.

– The concept of non-partner transactions is defined for cooperatives, within the context of an exemption from corporate tax. The Ministry of Finance will regulate taxation principles for non-partner transaction revenues.

– Revenues earned through transfer of immovables, shares and pre-emptive rights owned by companies and their guarantors which were subject to execution proceedings to financial leasing and finance companies against the latter’s receivables are now exempted from corporate tax, as long as they are reserved for payment of the debts.

– 50% of revenues earned through sale of immovables and 75% of the revenues earned through sale of shares and pre-emptive rights owned by the companies and their guarantors which were subject to execution proceedings to the banks, financial leasing and finance companies against the latter’s receivables are now exempted from corporate tax.

– A tax reduction granted for expenses made in 2017 for investments in the production industry under incentive certificates have been extended to 2018.

The Law Regarding Amendment on Certain Tax Laws and Other Laws, was published in Official Gazette number 30261 on 28 November 2017,

regulating the dates which provisions enter into force in Article 123. Please see this link for the full text of the Law (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Announces Rules and Processes for Data Controller Registry

Turkey has announced procedures and principles for registering with the Data Controllers Registry (“Registry”) by real persons and legal entities responsible for establishing and managing data recording systems (“Data Controller”). It has also outlined processing methods for personal data, along with details about applications and information which must be filed with the Registry.

The Regulation on Data Controller Registry (“Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 30286 on 30 December 2017. A draft version of the Regulation was previously published on the Data Protection Authority’s (“Authority”) website and is discussed here.

The Data Controller Registry must be kept in a publicly available manner, under the Data Protection Board’s (“Board”) supervision (Article 16 of the Law on Personal Data Protection number 6698; “Law”).

Data Controllers must register with the Registry before processing personal data and within the term announced by the Board. Parties which later fall within the Regulation’s scope must register within 30 days.

Data Controllers will be required to register online by uploading the required information to the Data Controllers Information System (“VERBIS”). VERBIS will be established and governed by the Data Management Office and used for registration, as well as conducting Registry actions.

The Authority recently announced that the registration obligation will apply once VERBIS becomes operational and a commencement date has been declared. Despite this, Data Controllers must still fulfill all other obligations under the Law and the related regulations, even though they are not yet required to register.

The Board can determine exceptions to the registration requirement, considering the criteria outlined in Article 16 of the Regulation. These criteria include the quality and quantity of processed personal data, as well as the processing duration.

Legal entities located in Turkey must appoint a contact person responsible for communicating with the Authority and must notify this person’s identity and address during registration.

Data Controllers residing abroad must appoint a data controller representative, who is authorized for matters determined under Article 11 and will notify necessary information during registration.

The information disclosed to the Registry will be based on the Data Controller’s personal data processing inventory. The personal data inventory must include:

– Purposes of personal data processing.

– Data category.

– Recipient group.

– Data subject group.

– Maximum time required for the purposes for which the personal data are processed.

– Personal data foreseen to be transferred to foreign countries.

– Measures taken regarding data security.

The Regulation requires Data Controllers to also prepare and implement personal data retention policy. 

Failure to comply with the Regulation could result in administrative fines between 20,000 and 1,000,000 Turkish Liras.

Please see this link for the full text of the Registry Regulation (only available in Turkish).

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Comparative Advertisements Postponed in Turkey Until January 2019

For the third time, comparative advertising has been postponed in Turkey, now becoming possible from 1 January 2019 onwards. From that date, advertisements will be allowed to include competitors’ titles, trademarks, logos or other distinguishing marks or phrases, as well as commercial names and company names (more).

The Regulation to Amend the Regulation on Commercial Advertisement and Unfair Commercial Practices (“Amendment Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 30287 on 31 December 2017.

Until 1 January 2019, the corresponding article of The Regulation on Commercial Advertisement and Unfair Commercial Practices to comparative advertisements will not enter into effect. Accordingly, it will not be possible until then to refer to competitors’ trademarks, logos, etc. in advertisements.

Please see this link for full text of the Amendment Regulation (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Amends Valuation Mechanism for Real Estate Tax

Unit values form the basis of real estate taxes in Turkey (duplicated article 49 of Tax Procedural Law number 213). Real estate valuations are valid for four year periods and during each period, the valuation is annually re-calculated and increased, based on the revaluation rate for each year. Under recent changes, if the 2018 unit value exceeds the 2017 value by more than 50%, calculating the tax values for 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 will be done by increasing the 2017 unit value by 50%.

Calculation methods are described in a General Communiqué in detail, with examples. If the 2018 unit values exceed half the 2017 value, these values will not be taken into account. If a unit value was not determined for 2017 or cannot be found for any reason, the calculation will be made on the basis of unit values determined for 2018.

Provisional Article 23 was added to Real Estate Tax Law number 1319, by Article 35 of the Law Regarding Amendment on Certain Tax Laws and Other Laws, published in Official Gazette number 30261 on 28 November 2017, entering into effect on the same date. The Ministry of Economy has announced a separate Communiqué outlining calculation methods. The General Communiqué on Real Estate Tax Law (Serial number 72) was published in the Official Gazette number 30282. Please see this link for the full text of the Law and this link for the full text of the Communiqué (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Restructures Methods for Settlement with the Finance Revenue Administration For Related Party Transactions

Turkey has restructured methods for settelement with Finance Revenue Administration (“Administration”) for related party transcations. The developments widen and clarify the scope of advance pricing agreement methods, as well as introduce time limits for the Administration to consider taxpayer requests.   

The Communiqué Amending the General Communiqué of Hidden Profit Distribution through Transfer Pricing (“Amendment Communiqué”) was published in Official Gazette number 30263 on 7 December 2017.

Taxpayers can make agreements with the administration to determine methods for transactions between the respective taxpayer and related third-parties. The Amendment Communiqué restructures the principles for agreements with related parties.

At a taxpayer’s written request, an agreement can be made with the administration for periods up to three years. Within this scope, taxpayers can now ask to execute unilateral, bilateral or multilateral advance pricing agreements. The Amendment Communiqué introduces time limits for the administration to consider and decide on these requests:

– Unilateral agreements between the administration and taxpayer: Maximum nine months.

– Bilateral agreements between the administration, taxpayer and a foreign Tax Authority: Maximum 18 months.

– Multilateral agreements between the administration, taxpayer and Tax Authority of multiple foreign countries: maximum 18 months.

Taxpayers can now apply to the administration, to negotiate the scope and compatibility of a possible agreement.

An agreement may be concluded regarding previous taxation periods, provided that certain criteria apply to their circumstances, as per the Tax Procedural Law number 213

Please see the link for full text of the Amendment Communiqué (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Introduces Mechanism to Request Review of Administrative Fines in Certain Circumstances

In certain circumstances, recipients of the administrative fines can now request reconciliation of administrative fines imposed by governorships or the Ministry of Customs and Trade. Newly established Reconciliation Commissions will evaluate these requests, potentially resulting in administrative fines being discounted up to 50%. Reconciliation requests can be made within 15 days of being notified about the fine, provided administrative proceedings have not yet been filed. The litigation process will not proceed if reconciliation is requested.

Reconciliation requests can be made if any of the following circumstances:

– The breach which the fine does not sufficiently line up with the legislative provisions.

– Legislative provisions have been misinterpreted by the administrative authorities.

– A difference of opinion exists between judicial and administrative judgements.

Recipients of administrative fines can only request reconciliation on one occasion and will become barred from filing any lawsuit regarding the subjects agreed upon and settled by the process, as well as from complaining to any other authority.

Advance payment discounts will not apply for administrative fines which are subject to a reconciliation request. The revised amount must be paid within 15 days of notification.

The new reconciliation mechanism does not include administrative fines imposed by the Advertising Board.

The new mechanism was introduced by Article 116 of the Law Regarding Amendment on Certain Tax Laws and Other Laws, published in Official Gazette number 30261 on 5 December 2017. The changes added Article 77/A to the Law on Protection of Consumers number 6502. Please see this link for the full text of the amendments (only available in Turkish).

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WIPO Releases 2017 Report Detailing Global Intellectual Property Activity

The World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) has released its 2017 World Intellectual Property Indicators Report (“Report”) outlining territorial rankings on global intellectual property activities during 2016. The Report provides statistics for patents, trademarks, industrial designs, plant varieties and geographical indications. Turkey recorded fast growth in patent and industrial design during 2016, but a slight decrease in trademark and plant variety applications.

According to WIPO data, record level of 3 million patent applications were filed in 2016. China showed particularly strong growth with 1,300,000 patent applications. The Report notes that on a global scale, the demand for other intellectual property rights has also increased. 2016 trademark applications increased by 16.4%, as well as design applications increased by 10.04%. Plant variety applications also increased by 8.3% at the highest level in last 15 years. For the first time, the Report includes the number of geographical indications in force in the designated territories.

Noteworthy points about Turkey in the Report include:

– Turkey’s global application filing rankings in 2016 are:

– 23rd for patents.

– 10th for trademarks.

– 6th for industrial designs.

– Turkey recorded fast growth in patent applications among low and middle-income countries, with 17.2% increase.

– 8,364 patent applications were filed in Turkey during 2016, with 1,764 patents granted.

– 3,517 utility model applications were filed during 2016, with 2,441 applications granted.

– Patent applications from Turkey were mainly filed for pharmaceuticals.

– Turkish trademark applications decreased by 0.4% in 2016. The most trademark applications were made within the business services sector, followed by agriculture, research and technology.

– 55 collective mark and 48 certification mark applications were made in Turkey.

– 277,870 trademark applications were made in Turkey, with 257,054 trademarks registered.

– Industrial design applications in Turkey decreased by 13.4% in 2016. The most design applications were made within the furniture and household goods sectors. 59,209 design applications were made.

– 15,240 plant variety applications were filed around the world in 2016. Turkey made 193 filings decreasing by 16.5%.

– There are 201 geographical indications in force in Turkey.

Please see this link for full text of Report.

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Turkey Updates Rules For Ancillary Services in Electricity Market

Turkey has updated the regulatory regime related to the ancillary services necessary to ensure safe operation and quality standards for electricity transmission and distribution. Notably, an online registry will be launched, the Price Determination Commission will be disbanded, and the scope of facilities which qualify as ancillary services has been expanded.

The Electricity Market Ancillary Services Regulation (“Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 30252 on 26 November 2017, entering into force on 1 January 2018.

Notable changes introduced by the Regulation include:

– An online registry system has been introduced for ancillary services.

– Ancillary services providers must now identify and register the relevant ancillary service units that they will operate.

– The following facilities can now register as ancillary service providers:

– Generation facilities with over 50 MW installed capacity (if registered as a reconciliation unit).

– Consumption facilities which met certain conditions.

– Energy storage facilities.

– The Price Determination Commission will be disbanded, which was responsible for determining the service cost unit of the primary frequency control and presenting it to the Electricity Market Regulatory Authority.

Please see this link for the full text of the Regulation (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Loosens Rules for Bank Spin-Offs

Turkey has loosened its rules for bank spin-offs, introducing a new distinction for partial spin-offs and excluding these transactions from the scope of certain rules. Accordingly, partial bank spin-off transactions no longer fall within the scope of the Regulation Regarding Merger, Acquisition, Spin-Off and Share Transfer of Banks.

The Regulation Amending the Regulation Regarding Merger, Acquisition, Spin-Off and Share Transfer of Banks (“Amendment Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 30242 on 16 November 2017.

Partial spin-offs will be not in the scope of the Regulation Regarding Merger, Acquisition, Spin-Off and Share Transfer of Banks published in Official Gazette number 26333 on 1 November 2006 (“Regulation”), provided these result in the transfer of some of the bank’s assets, in a manner that does not cause the bank to dissolve, and the spun-off assets constitute a subsidiary involving the bank acquiring the assignee company’s shares.

The Amendment Regulation states for the abovementioned spin-offs that:

– During credit institution spin-offs, deposit or participation accounts may only be transferred to another credit institution.

– If the bank’s capital drops under 30 million Turkish Lira, the bank’s shareholders must commit to increasing the spin-off’s cash capital within three months.

Please see this link for full text of the Amendment Regulation (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Adjusts Calculation Method for Motor Vehicle Tax

For vehicles registered after 31 December 2017, Turkey will now also consider the vehicle’s value when calculating its annual motor vehicle tax amount. The vehicle’s value will be considered alongside its age and engine volume. For vehicles registered before this date, only the age and engine volume will be considered.

A vehicle’s value is defined as the value formed from the elements constituting the VAT base in the submission, first export and import of vehicles.

These amendments to the Motor Vehicles Tax Law number 197, dated 18 February 1963, were made by the Law Regarding Amendment on Certain Tax Laws and Other Laws number 7061, published in Official Gazette number 30261 on 5 December 2017. Please see this link for the full text (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Announces Further Rules for Voluntary Green Certification Scheme for Buildings

Turkey has published further rules for acquiring a “green certificate” for buildings. The latest developments address establishment of evaluation bodies and documentation systems. The voluntary certification scheme supports reductions to adverse environmental impacts of buildings and settlements by encouraging use of natural resources and clean energy.

The Regulation on Green Certificate for Buildings and Settlements (“Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 30279 on 23 December 2017, entering into effect on the same date.

“Green Buildings” are defined as being sustainable, energy efficient, harmonious with the environment, and suitable to minimize negative environmental impacts throughout their life cycle. These negative impacts include location selection, design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, demolition and disposal.

The Regulation states that to obtain a voluntary green certificate, a building or settlement’s owner can apply to an “Evaluation Organization”, via a green certification specialist.

The following entities are eligible to apply to the Ministry of Environment to become an Evaluation Organization:

– Non-governmental organizations operating in the fields of sustainable buildings and sustainable settlements.

– Public institutions and organizations.

– Universities.

– Institutions and organizations registered in accordance with the Turkish Engineers and Architects Law number 6235.

Existing legislation for green buildings has also been systematically overhauled by the Regulation, which abolishes the regime outlined in the Regulation on Certification of Sustainable Green Buildings and Sustainable Settlements, published in Official Gazette number 29199, on 8 December 2014.

Please see this link for the full text of the Regulation (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Extends Transition Period Deadlines for Adapting Veterinary Medicinal Products and Production Sites to Meet Good Manufacturing Practices

Turkey has amended rules for production, export, import, use, packaging and sale of veterinary medicinal products. Notably, the transition period’s deadline for adapting veterinary products and production sites to meet good manufacturing practices has now been extended from two to five years.

The Regulation Amending the Regulation on Veterinary Medicinal Products (“Amendment Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 30277 on 21 December 2017, entering into effect on the same date.

Notable changes under the Amendment Regulation include:

– The transition period, which is an extension to the deadlines set forth by the Regulation, for product owners that have ongoing transactions which began before 24 December 2011 (the enforcement date of the Regulation on Veterinary Medicinal Products) has been extended from two to five years.

– The additional one year period granted after notification of deficiencies continues unchanged. However, the prohibition on production and import of veterinary medicinal products within this year has been removed.

– Transition periods for the following products have has been extended to 24 December 2019:

– Potash alum.

– Brucella.

– Sheep and goat pox.

– Sheep and goat pestis.

– Blue tongue disease vaccines and test antigens.

Please see this link for full text of the Amendment Regulation (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Lowers Credit Threshold for Banks Regarding Vehicle Loans

The threshold used by banks in Turkey to determine credit limits for auto loans, loans secured by vehicles and financial leasing has increased from 50,000 to 100,000 Turkish Liras. The amendment will likely mean reductions in advance payments for vehicles.

The Regulation Amending the Regulation Regarding the Credit Transactions of Banks (“Amendment Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 12345 on 12 December 2017, entering into force on the same date. The Amendment Regulation makes changes to the Regulation on Bank Loan Transactions number 12345 (“Regulation”).

According to the Regulation, the credit limit for the following transactions must not exceed 70% of the vehicle’s final value if the vehicle is worth less than a certain threshold:

– Loans to customers acquiring passenger cars.

– Loans secured by cars.

– Financial leasing.

If the vehicle is worth more than the threshold, the credit limit of 70% will apply up to this threshold, then become 50% for the remaining value (which exceeds 100,000 Turkish Liras).

According to the recent changes, the applicable threshold has increased from 50,000 to 100,000 Turkish Liras.

Please see this link for full text of the Amendment Regulation (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Updates Public Tender Regime, Includes Insurance Surety Bonds as Collateral

Turkey has updated aspects of the public tender regime outlined in Public Tender Law number 4734. Most notably, surety bonds issued by insurance companies will now qualify as collateral during public tenders.

Surety bonds now qualify as collateral in public tenders

Surety bonds issued by insurance companies located in Turkey within the scope of surety insurance will now be accepted as collateral during public tenders.

Pre-approval system for upper limit of payments made for outsource services to be taken by public authorities

The Treasury Secretariat or Directorate of Privatization Administration will now determine the upper limit of salary and similar payments in advance, which will be made by public authorities for outsource services which require employing personnel (except consultancy services) before relevant public authorities go out to tender.

Restricted tender procedures for education tenders

Restricted tender procedure will apply until 31 December 2019 for the following public tenders, without these being subject to the Public Tender Law number 4734’s provisions (except those related to penalty and prohibition from tender):

– Course books distributed for free to students studying in public and private schools, dependent to Ministry of National Education.

– Guideline books distributed for free to teachers.

These developments were made by the Law Regarding Amendment on Certain Tax Laws and Other Laws number 7061, published in Official Gazette number 30261 on 5 December 2017. Please see this link for the full text (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Clarifies Procedure for Consumer Arbitration Committee and Adjusts Monetary Limits

Turkey has clarified procedural steps for consumer disputes. Previously, the requirement to approach consumer arbitration committees for disputes below certain monetary limits was open to being interpreted as an obstacle to pursuing enforcement proceedings without a judgment. However, recent amendments to Consumer Law number 6502 make it clear that consumers’ rights under enforcement and bankruptcy laws are reserved in this context. The monetary limits for disputes which can be bought to consumer arbitration boards have also been increased for 2018.

There are two main types of enforcement actions available in Turkey, intended respectively for circumstances where a judgment exists and where a judgment does not exist.

Consumer arbitration boards exist in Turkey to settle disputes arising from consumer law (Article 68 of the Consumer Protection Law number 6502). At least one such board must be formed in each city center and borough, with each type of board subject to separate monetary jurisdiction limits based on its location. From 20 December 2017, monetary limits for consumer arbitration boards will be as follows:

– Claims below 4,000 Turkish Lira: must be referred to borough arbitration boards.

– Claims below 6,000 Turkish Lira: must be referred to city arbitration boards.

– Claims between 4,000 to 6,000 Turkish Lira: must be referred to city arbitration boards in cities with metropolis status.

The amendments were made by Law number 7063 Amending Certain Laws, published in Official Gazette number 30276 on 20 December 2017, entering into force on the same day.

Please see this link for the full text of the amendments (only available in Turkish)

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Cheque Presentation Rule Postponed in Turkey to End of 2020

Under Turkish law, if a cheque is delivered to a drawee bank before the availability date stated on the cheque, a provision states that the cheque will be considered properly presented and payable on the presentation date. The provision was previously planned to become effective on 31 December 2017 (Provisional Article 3(5) of the Cheque Law). However, this effective date has now been extended to 31 December 2020.

The date was postponed by Article 100 of Law number 7061 on Amendments to Certain Tax Laws and other Laws, published in Official Gazette number 30261 on 5 December 2017. You may find the full text of the Law here (only available in Turkish)

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Turkey Announces Operating Rules for Foreign Economic Relations Board and Business Councils

Turkey has announced working procedures and principles for the Foreign Economic Relations Board (“Board)”. The Board’s purpose is to support foreign economic relations, including foreign trade, international investments, contracting and logistics, as well as supporting the private sector to expand exports. Rules have also been announced for Business Councils affiliated to the Board (“Business Councils”).

The Regulation on Working Procedures and Principles of Foreign Economic Relations Board and Business Councils (“Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 30252 on 26 November 2017, entering into effect on the same date.

Foreign Economic Relations Board

Accordingly, the Board’s main duties are to:

– Monitor Turkey’s economic, commercial, industrial and financial relations with foreign countries or international communities, as well as assisting to establish and develop these relations.

– Provide opinions and suggestions to the relevant institutions and organizations for promoting Turkey’s foreign economic relations, as well as resolving related problems and obstacles.

– Carry out studies to increase Turkey’s exports, as well as to encourage production and export oriented international investments.

– Contribute to initiatives aiming to improve Turkey’s investment climate and organizing activities to promote investment opportunities abroad.

– Guide domestic or foreign entrepreneurs who may enter into joint investments or make joint investment in third countries, within the framework of principles set by the Board of Directors.

The Board can establish representative offices in Turkey or abroad, upon approval from the Board of Directors and Ministry.

Business Councils

The Ministry of Economy can establish Business Councils based on suggestions from the Board of Directors of the Foreign Economic Relations Board. Each Business Council must include at least ten member companies and should consider the business world’s preferences, based on industrial and geographical evaluations, as well as developments in global markets.

The Business Councils’ main duties are to:

– Conduct research to determine cooperation possibilities with foreign countries trade, investment, industry, services, technology and projects.

– Determine obstacles to business opportunities, as well as develop proposals to remove obstacles and support cooperation.

– Provide information which entrepreneurs may need during business relations.

– Develop proposals for policies, solutions and mechanisms to develop relations with other countries, within the strategy framework which will be determined by the Board of Directors.

Please see this link for the full text of the Regulation (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Announces Details of Land Consolidation Regime

Turkey has announced details of procedures for land consolidation activities, as well the roles of various bodies involved in the process. The regime outlines processes for both voluntary and compulsory consolidations, as well as requirements for registering these on the property’s title and appeal mechanisms. Notably, fixed facilities located on a property will not be taken into consideration during land consolidation activities and will not be compensated.

The Land Consolidation Application Regulation (“Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 30265 on 9 December 2017, entering into force at the same date. The Regulation was published according to Article 17 of the Land Conservation and Land Use Law.

Under the Regulation, the main actors for land consolidation activities (defined as “Project Administrations”) will be:

– The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock

– Provincial special administrations.

– Municipalities.

– Village legal entities.

– Agriculture cooperatives.

– Other public institutions which carry out land consolidation.

The Regulation introduces two types of land consolidation activities:

– Arbitrary consolidation: At the request of the land’s owner, or its majority shareholder.

– Non-arbitrary consolidation: Made with respect to the general public interests, at the request of the Ministry, or a land protection board.

In an attempt to minimize disputes, the Regulation gives priority to arbitrary consolidation projects.

A statement about the consolidation will be recorded on the land’s title in the land registry. The statement’s date is important, since any deed transfer, disposition, pledge or mortgage transaction after the registration date can only be conducted via a request from the project administration and with a permit from the Ministry or Governorate. A purchaser who acquires the land after the consolidation statement is registered to the title will be deemed to have accepted the previous owner’s commitments.

Land taken during consolidation will be subject to the normal land grading process, conducted by land rating commissions. Commission determine a ratio, considering factors such as a productivity analysis report, distance to residential areas, as well as other similar factors. The parcel values are then calculated by multiplying the relevant ratio and cadastral parcel areas.

Please see this link for the full text of the Regulation (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Establishes Provincial Soil Protection Boards and Announces Rules for Use and Protection of Cultivated Areas

Turkey’s Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (“Ministry”) recently announced a new regulatory regime for planning, use and oversight of cultivated areas. These include establishing provincial Soil Protection Boards, as well as introducing rules to soil conservation plans and protecting grass lowlands.

The Regulation Regarding Protection, Use and the Planning of Cultivated Areas (“Regulation”), was published in Official Gazette number 30265 on 9 December 2017, entering into force on the same date.

The Regulation outlines details of soil conservation projects, intended to prevent soil degradation by natural causes or human activities.

The Regulation establishes Soil Protection Boards (“Boards“), which will each be composed of nine members in each province, each presided over by the province’s Governor.

Boards will be responsible for the duties assigned by the Land Conservation and Land Use Law number 5403, plus duties assigned by the Regulation to:

– Screen, evaluate and investigate issues regarding the protection of cultivated areas, to take necessary measures to resolve problems regarding soil protection.

– Direct all initiatives requiring land use, to review and approve projects aimed to improve land.

– Follow and evaluate implementation of soil protection measures at the local level.

– Monitor compliance between national, regional and local plans.

– Receive requests for the use of cultivated lands and pass these to the relevant authorities, with the Board’s opinion.

The Regulation introduces detailed provisions for the Ministry to determine land and land assets. Accordingly, the Ministry must

– Make or carry out land classification activities and mapping for soil conservation and use.

– Prepare land use plans.

– Determine the principles and standards for conducting survey studies.

The Regulation categorizes cultivated lands into four types, in line with their use:

– Absolute cultivated lands.

– Special product lands.

– Planted cultivated lands.

– Irrigated cultivated lands.

In principle, cultivated lands must not be used for any activity except agriculture. However, if there is no alternative and the Board considers appropriate, cultivated land can be used for non-agricultural purposes in the following circumstances with Ministry approval:

– Defence purposes.

– Temporary settlement after a natural disaster.

– Oil and gas exploration and operation.

– Mining activities granted under a public interest decision.

– Plans and investments granted under a public interest decision.

– Road, infrastructure and superstructure investments with public interest.

– Investments related to use of renewable energy resources.

– Technological greenhouse investments from geothermal.

Please see this link for the full text of the Regulation (only available in Turkish).

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Turkey Updates Independent Auditing Standards

Turkey’s Public Oversight, Accounting and Auditing Standards Authority has updated a range of Independent Auditing Standards. The updates cover a wide range of topics, ranging from general audit objectives through to detailed aspects of auditing activities.

The updated Independent Auditing Standards are below.

The updated Independent Auditing Standards each entered into force on the date they were published in the Official Gazette.

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Turkey Updates Financial Reporting and Accounting Standards

Turkey’s Public Oversight, Accounting and Auditing Standards Authority has updated a range of Financial Reporting Standards and Accounting Standards, as well as Interpretations on Financial Reporting Standards.

The updated Financial Reporting Standards are below.

The updated Accounting Standards are below.

The updated Standards each entered into force on the date they were published in the Official Gazette.

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