Regulations have been introduced in Turkey outlining procedures and principles for opening, operating and inspecting shopping centres, as well as respective duties and responsibilities for owners, management and government agencies. The Regulation on Shopping Centres (“Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 29636 on 26 February 2016, coming into force on the same date.

The Regulation defines shopping centre as facilities which meet the following criteria:

  • A single building, or group of buildings in a specific area.
  • At least 5,000 m2 selling space.
  • At least ten stores, if the shopping centre contains at least one department store, or 30 stores if no department store exists.
  • Include shared areas, as specified in the Regulation.
  • Have centralized management.

Within the context of shared areas, shopping centres should contain areas (relative to the centre’s overall size) which are available free of charge for:

  • Social and cultural events.
  • Immediate medical response.
  • Prayer.
  • Child care.
  • Playgrounds for children.
  • Recreation

The owner and management are jointly responsible for safety measures guarding against accidents in these shared areas, along with other requirements for these areas.

The Regulation outlines cost allocation rules for:

  • Recurring costs (electricity, water, heating, maintenance, security, cleaning, etc.).
  • Common costs which are not related to ownership of the shopping centre.
  • Common costs for un-rented stores.
  • Contributions by stores for the shopping centre’s common interests, such as marketing or management.

The Ministry of Customs and Trade enforces the Regulation and inspects shopping centres regarding complaints. If a shopping centre contradicts legislation, sanctions under Article 18 of the Law on Regulation of Retail Trade will apply.

Any shopping centre operating on 29 January 2015 must have establish the required shared areas and centralized management by 29 January 2016.

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

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