Key provisions


On 26 May 2022, Proposal No. 2/4471 on the Amendment of the Press Law and Other Laws, consisting of 40 articles, was submitted to the Grand National Assembly. The reasons behind this proposal were the fact that the Internet:

  • left other mass media tools behind;
  • brings the concept of "social media" to the centre of the public;
  • facilitates news and information access; and
  • provides fast access, wide sharing and a suitable environment to combat "fake news and disinformation".

Key provisions

If the proposal is approved, news websites will be included in the scope of the Press Law (No. 5187) and will be considered as periodical publications. In this proposal, similar to periodical publications, the following will be regulated for news websites:

  • the submission of declarations;
  • criminal and legal liability;
  • the right of correction and reply;
  • the judicial procedure; and
  • the authority to which declarations will be submitted.

In addition, it is planned that the press card practice, which is currently regulated under the Press Card Regulation, will be added to the Press Law. This change will enable employees of news websites to also obtain press cards and work in accordance with the provisions of the Press Law.

Further, the proposal would make it mandatory to have the news websites' commercial information and the hosting provider's information clearly displayed on the website, and to specify the first publication date of the contents with a method that will prevent the date from being changed. Thus, the proposal is aimed at making date determinations possible and assigning responsibility for the content.

Moreover, the proposal provides that the contents published on news websites shall be kept for two years, and, if the content is subject to investigation and prosecution, until the conclusion of this process.

Through this proposal, news websites will be included in the legislation regarding the publication of official announcements. Parallel to this, the term "internet news website" will be added to the different regulations relating to newspapers.

Additionally, an independent type of crime will be added to the fifth chapter ("Crimes Against Public Peace") of the Turkish Penal Code (No. 5237), with the title "spreading misleading information to the public". For this type of crime, intent, false information, special qualifications and suitability for action will be established. Imprisonment between one and three years is proposed for this crime.

With an article to be added to Law No. 5651, known as the "Internet Law", the Access Providers Association will be able to send notifications relating to decisions to remove content and/or block access to the relevant content or hosting provider's email address.

In addition, crimes relating to state intelligence will be added to the catalogue of crimes. For such crimes, the decision to remove content and/or block access can be made regarding content on the Internet, and there will no longer be a distinction between domestic and foreign content and hosting providers regarding the removal of content and/or block access decisions.

In addition, if the decision to remove content and/or block access is not fulfilled, natural and legal persons will be prohibited from:

  • providing ads to foreign social networks provider for up to six months;
  • establishing new contracts with foreign social network providers; and
  • transferring money relating to contracts.

Further, the relevant court will be able to reduce the bandwidth of internet traffic by 50% until the decision is fulfilled.

Regarding social network providers, the representatives of providers whose social media platform is accessed daily by more than 1 million users from Turkey will be required to be a resident of Turkey, in addition to the existing obligation to be a Turkish citizen.

If the proposal passes, the legal entity representatives of social network providers whose social media platform is accessed daily by more than 10 million users from Turkey will have to be a branch in the form of a capital company. The natural or legal person representative will be fully authorised and responsible technically, administratively, legally and financially, without prejudice to the responsibilities of the social network provider. In addition, if information relating to crimes is not provided to the judicial authorities upon request, the internet bandwidth of the provider may be reduced by 90%. The segregation of services specific to children is also regulated.

Finally, amendments to the Electronic Communications Law (No. 5809) are made regarding over-the-top internet-based services, which are not subject to a specific legislation in Turkey. This makes way for the Information Technologies and Communications Authority to establish necessary regulations and relevant measures.

For further information on this topic please contact Hatice Ekici Tağa, Sümeyye Uçar or Şevin Nural at Özdağıstanli Ekici Attorney Partnership by telephone (+90 216 230 07 48) or email ([email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]). The Özdağıstanli Ekici Attorney Partnership website can be accessed at