Information and Communication Technologies Authority (“ICTA”) banned advertising on Twitter, Periscope, and Pinterest for failure to appoint a representative as required under applicable law.
Turkey has recently brought a set of amendments on the Law number 5651 on Regulation of Broadcasts via Internet and Prevention of Crimes Committed through Such Broadcasts (“Law Number 5651”) and the amendment law was published in the Official Gazette on 31 July, 2020. With the amendments, series of obligations were set forth for the local and foreign domiciled social network providers operating in Turkey including appointing a local agent – for a more detailed discussion see MA | Gazette number 93, by clicking here.
Sanctions on social network providers for noncompliance as follows:
As per the Law Number 5651, the foreign social network providers who did not fulfill their obligation to appoint a representative is notified.
- An administrative fine of TRY 10 million for failing to appoint a local agent within 30 days after notification by ICTA.
- An administrative fine of TRY 30 million for failing to appoint a local agent within 30 days after levy of initial fine.
- Ban on advertising purchased by natural and legal persons that are taxpayer residents in Turkey for failing to appoint a local agent within 30 days after levy of second fine.
- Internet bandwidth reduced by 50% for failing to appoint a local agent within 3 months after the advertisement ban, and a hearing before the Court of Peace.
- Internet bandwidth reduced by up to 90% for failing to appoint a local agent within 30 days after the first bandwidth reduction, and a hearing before the Court of Peace.
ICTA has already levied upon two social network providers individual administrative fines of TRY 10 million and TRY 30 million and imposed advertising bans. It is recommended that all payers of taxes in Turkey stop advertising on social networks operating in violation of Law 5651.
Please see this link for the decision of the ICTA published on the Offical Gazette number 31369 on 19 January 2021 (only available in Turkish).