The Turkish Supreme Court has rejected a claim by 121 Members of Parliament, seeking to cancel the Omnibus Bill, numbered 6518, amending Ministry of Family and Social Policies’ Statutory decree and some acts and statutory decrees, enacted on 19 February 2014. The Supreme Court’s decision (dated 8 December 2015, numbered 2014/87 E., 2015/112 K.) rejects the cancellation request regarding the Omnibus Bill, which introduced changes to the Tax Procedure Code and Social Security Code, among others.

Tax Procedure Code 

The Omnibus Bill amended Article 257 of the Tax Procedure Code. The article requires tax payers to have no outdated debt in order to obtain the necessary barcode, stamp, clippings and alike for maintaining commercial activity. The claimant requested cancellation of this article on the basis that it restricts the rights of private enterprise, which are protected by the Turkish Constitution. It also claimed that granting discretion to the Ministry of Finance to decide the thresholds for applying or waiving the obligation is a transfer of legislative power.

The Supreme Court rejected the claims, ruling that the restriction under Article 257 is not unconstitutional and the Ministry of Finance is entitled by law to make such arrangements.

Public Procurement Code 

The Omnibus Bill amended Article 38 of the Public Procurement Code. The claimant requested cancellation of this article on the basis that it unconstitutionally grants discretion to public procurement commissions to determine the criteria for “extremely low bids”.

The Supreme Court rejected the claims, ruling that public procurement commissions are competent to determine the criteria for extremely low bids.

Social Security Code 

The Omnibus Bill adds a new clause to Article 30 of the Social Security Code. The new clause states that assistant general managers in the central organization and as provincial directors who work for the provincial directors for at least three years may be appointed as Social Security Specialists.

The claimant requested cancellation of this article on the basis that the new clause might cause inequality. The claimant argued that the government may abuse this power by making biased appointments, causing inequality in the legal appointments and harming vested rights.

The Supreme Court rejected the claim, ruling that the article is not biased and will not generate inequality.

Code Regulating Internet Publications and Suppression of Crimes Committed by Means of Such Publication 

The Omnibus Bill amends various articles in the Code Regulating Internet Publications and Suppression of Crimes Committed by Means of Such Publication.

The claimant requested cancellation of these amendments on the basis that the articles are unconstitutional because they violate the right of privacy and the restrictions do not comply with democratic society. The Supreme Court rejected the claim, ruling that the restrictions not unconstitutional.

Please see this link for the full text of the Supreme Court’s decision (only available in Turkish). 

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.