The Medium Term Program (2023-2025) (“MTP”), co-developed by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance and the Presidency of Turkey, Presidency of Strategy and Budget, approved by Presidential Decision numbered 6003, was published in repeated Official Gazette dated 4 September 2022 and numbered 31943, and entered into force.

In this MTP for the period of 2023-2025, global, regional and macroeconomic targets and policies to be followed in economic and social fields are declared to the public.

Under the title of “Financial Stability” of this MTP, financial technology (Fintech) policies, legislative infrastructure arrangements that will strengthen the institutionalization of the participation finance system, preparation of the Turkish Fintech guide, the extension of open banking in the field of payments, and the inclusion of critical financial technology companies that provide support services to the financial ecosystem within the scope of audit and sanctions are regulated.

The policies under this heading and prominent in the field of Fintech are as follows:

  • The long-term strategy in the field of Fintech will be announced and the “Turkey Fintech Guide” will be prepared for local and foreign investors.
  • The usage of TROY, Turkey’s payment system, is aimed be increased in card payments.
  • The usage tests of the Digital Turkish Lira will be started within the scope of the Digital Lira Research and Development Project, which was initiated with the aim of popularizing the use of digital money.
  • New audit practices focused on “supervisory technologies” will be implemented in line with the development of the financial sector.
  • Institutionalization of the participation finance system will be strengthened, and necessary legislative arrangements will be made.
  • Studies on issues arising from the digitalization of the financial sector, including information security, protection of personal data, will be supported.
  • The legislation on information systems will continue to be updated in a way that will support the development of the technology ecosystem used in the financial field in Turkey, and to support Turkey to become a leading country in digitalization in the financial sector.
  • Critical financial technology companies that provide support services to the financial ecosystem in Turkey will be included in the scope of the audit and sanctions.
  • Crypto asset trading platforms will be included in the scope of regulation.
  • Existing financial education activities will be expanded with the aim of increasing awareness on financial products and services and understanding risks.

You can access the full text of the MTP at this link (Only available in Turkish).

The objection subject to the Constitutional Court’s (“Constitutional Court”) decision published in Official Gazette numbered 31911 on 2 August 2022 is related to the request for annulment of article 58 paragraph 5 of the Law on Collection of Public Receivables numbered 6183, which reads as “The amount of public receivables, against which the objection is rejected, is collected with 10% increase from the debtor who is completely or partially unjustified in his/her objection.”. The decision is based on the grounds that the relevant paragraph is in violation of the Constitution’s article 2 titled “Qualifications of the Republic”, article 13 titled “Limitation of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms”, article 36 titled “Right to Legal Remedies” and article 125 titled “Judicial Remedy”.

While examining the request, the Constitutional Court took into account the sub-principles suitability, necessity and proportionality, which constitute the principle of proportionality regulated under article 13 of the Constitution regarding the limitation of fundamental rights and freedoms, considering that the provision in question constitutes an interference with the right to property.

In this respect, the Constitutional Court has ruled that:

  • The respective provision is not suitable since filing a lawsuit against a payment order does not, in principle, suspend collection process, and even in case of a stay of execution, a default interest still applies,
  • The respective provision does not meet the criteria of necessity since the attempt to prevent a lawsuit against the payment order by collecting the public receivable with 10% increase is not the least intervention to the right and the last resort while the judicial process regarding the assessment process on the basis of the public receivable is ongoing,
  • The respective provision is not proportionate since no upper limit is stipulated in terms of the amount or in proportion to the original debt regarding calculating the increase in unjust objection, the courts’ inability to evaluate the specifics of the concrete situation, and the lack of discretionary power to the judge, and
  • The respective provision restricts the right to legal remedies as it makes difficult and deterrent to resort to the judiciary.

Therefore, the court decided to annul the relevant provision, as it violates article 13 titled limitation of fundamental rights and freedoms, the right to property protected by article 35 and right to legal remedies protected by article 36 of the Constitution.

You can access the full text of the Constitutional Court’s decision numbered 2021/119 M. and 2022/48 D. published in Official Gazette dated 2 August 2022 and numbered 31911, via this link. (Only available in Turkish)

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