What does this cover?

On 18 February 2016 the Law on Ratification of the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data of the Council of Europe (the Convention) came into force, following its publication in the Official Gazette of Turkey.

The Council of Europe is comprised of 47 members (including all 28 EU Member States) each of whom has signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights. This specific Convention was created to "extend the safeguards for everyone's rights and fundamental freedoms, and in particular the right to the respect for privacy" in light of increased automatic processing of personal data, whilst simultaneously reaffirming a commitment to "freedom of information regardless of frontiers."

Turkey has ratified the Convention with some reservations as to the types of personal data that would fall outside the remit of the Convention in Turkey, including personal data contained in public registers governed by Turkish law and personal data processed for the purposes of national security defence and the prevention of crime.

Turkey is now required to enact national legislation in order to give effect to the Convention. This will likely be incorporated into the Draft Data Protection Bill, as reported on separately above.

To view the Council of Europe Convention text, please click here.

To view the Council of Europe Convention text in Turkish, please click here (Turkish and English).

What action could be taken to manage risks that may arise from this development?

Organisations operating in Turkey should continue to monitor the legislative process and take advice from local legal counsel in Turkey regarding changes that will need to be made in order to comply with the provisions of these laws when they are enacted.