Dündar Sır Quarterly 2021/3

9/30/2021
The Quarterly is prepared every quarter of a year in order to point out significant legislative amendments under Turkish law and the developments in case-law.
QUARTERLY - 3
The Quarterly is prepared every quarter in order to point out significant legislative amendments under Turkish law and developments in case-law.

TAX LAW

1. The opportunity to apply for Tax Amnesty is expired as of September 30, 2021.
2. Payment date of first installments of certain receivables within the scope of Tax Amnesty is postponed.
(i) The payment date of first installment to be made to the Ministry of Treasury and Finance, the Ministry of Commerce, special provincial administrations and municipalities is postponed till October 30, 2021,
(ii) The payment date of first installment to be made to the Social Security Institution is postponed till November 30, 2021.

3. Application periods of decreased tax rates have ended as of September 30, 2021.

VAT rates has been applied as 8% (instead of 18%) for workplace rentals and as 1% (instead of 8%) for accommodation and food & beverage services (1% originally 8%), and withholding on rental income has been applied as 10% (instead of 20%). The application of such decreased tax rates has ended as of September 30, 2021.

TOURISM LAW
4. Remarkable changes to the Encouragement of Tourism Law No. 2634 has been made through the Official Gazette dated 28 July, 2021.
The changes aims the administrative works and inspections in the tourism sector to be carried out faster and more efficiently by expanding the authority of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (“Ministry”). Certain changes are as follows:
(i) Agreements related to areas allocated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to enterprises in the past are transferred to the Ministry.
(ii) Ministry is authorized to allocate public immovables to investors for tourism purposes.
(iii) Accommodation facilities and beach establishments cannot be operated without a tourism establishment certificate. Otherwise, their operating licenses shall be cancelled.

COMPETITION LAW
5. The Settlement Regulation is entered into force and first settlement decision is announced by Turkish Competition Authority.
The Settlement Regulation was published and entered into force on July 15, 2021. Thus the settlement concept, which has been in practice in the European Union for years, is adapted to Turkish law. The Regulation provides the opportunity to reduce administrative fines, save time and resources consumed during investigation processes. The Authority has the right to initiate the settlement procedure upon the request of the parties or ex officio.

The Authority announced its first settlement decision on August 9, 2021, and concluded the investigation initiated against Philips/Turkey and its authorized dealers by applying the settlement procedure. With this decision, it is envisaged that the Authority may often use the settlement procedure in the future.

PERSONEL DATA PROTECTION LAW
6. WhatsApp is sanctioned an administrative fine in the amount of TRY 1.950.000.
Last January, the Turkish Personal Data Protection Board launched an ex officio investigation after WhatsApp updated its terms of service and privacy policy to include express consent for processing of personal data and transfer to third parties abroad and announced that users who do not give explicit consent cannot use the application and their accounts will be deleted. The Board has imposed an administrative fine on WhatsApp in the amount of TRY 1.950.000 which is the highest fine given by the Board so far on the grounds that WhatsApp undermined “free will” element of explicit consent.

LABOUR LAW
7. Employers may request mandatory PCR test from its employees once a week.
As per the announcement of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security dated September 3, 2021, employers must inform all their employees of possible health and safety risks may be encountered in workplace and of precautions to be taken, and employees who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 must be informed in writing. More importantly, employers may require a mandatory PCR test once a week from their employees who have not been vaccinated. The announcement is construed as employers have right not to let their unvaccinated/PCR-tested employees into workplace

CASE LAW
i. Constitutional Court, File No: 2018/14389, Decision Dated 13.04.2021: The Constitutional Court has concluded that the interim injunction on the immovables that are the subject of the lawsuit since 2006 is not reasonable in terms of time, and that the injunction limiting the right to property imposes an excessive burden on the applicant by applied disproportionately.
ii. Constitutional Court, File No: 2018/24311, Decision Dated 12.08.2021: The Constitutional Court has ruled that disciplinary proceedings regarding statements used by lawyers in their petitions should be limited to exceptional cases not to pose a deterrent effect on lawyers’ rights and duties to freely defend their clients and that such interventions are not in accordance with the requirements of the democratic public order.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries regarding the above matters.
Best Regards.

Selim DÜNDAR, Attorney-at-Law
Partner
sdundar@dundarsir.com