Act 5651

Objective and scope

ARTICLE 1 – (1) The objective and scope of this Law hereby cover the regulation of responsibilities and obligations of content providers, hosting companies, access providers and mass use providers and the principles and procedures for combating specific crimes committed via the Internet through the content, hosting and access providers.

Definitions
ARTICLE 2 – (1) In the execution of this Law hereby, the following terms shall mean the following;
a) Ministry: Ministry of Transportation,
b) Presidency: Telecommunications Communication Presidency under the structure of the authority,
c) President: Telecommunications Communication President,
ç) Information: Meaningful form of data,
d) Access: Getting an opportunity of use through connection to any Internet environment,
e) Access provider: Any kind of real or legal persons or entities providing to their users access to Internet environment,
f) Content provider: The real or legal persons or entities generating, changing and providing any kind of information and data for the users through the Internet,
g) Internet environment: The environment established on Internet which is open to public and not covered by communications and personal or corporate computer systems,
ğ) Broadcasting through Internet: The data provided through the Internet environment and the content of which is accessible by indefinite number of people,
h) Monitoring: Follow-up of the data and information without affecting the data provided through Internet,
ı) Authority: Telecommunications Authority,
i) Mass-use provider: The person or entity providing to the users the opportunity of using Internet at a specific place and for a specific period,
j) Traffic data: The values related with any kind of access through Internet environment including the parties, time, period, the type of service used, the transferred data quantity and the connection points, etc.;
k) Data: Any kind of value that can be processed by a computer,
l) Broadcast: Broadcasting through Internet environment,
m) Hosting provider: Real or legal persons or entities providing or operating the systems housing the services and contents.

Information requirement
ARTICLE 3- (1) The content, hosting and access providers are liable to provide and make available to the users of certain introductory information through their websites on Internet and to keep such information updated in accordance with the principles and procedures specified in the regulation.
(2) The content, hosting or access providers who fail to fulfil the requirement specified in the paragraph above shall be punished with an administrative fine ranging between two thousand New Turkish Liras and ten thousand New Turkish Liras issued by the Presidency.
Content provider’s responsibility
ARTICLE 4 – (1) The content providers shall be responsible for any content that they provide through their websites on Internet.
(2) The content providers are no responsible for any third party content that they link to. However, if it can be understood from the presentation that the content provider adopts the content as its own or it aims to deliberately make the content reachable, the content provider can be held responsible according to the general principles.
Hosting provider’s responsibility
ARTICLE 5 – (1) The hosting providers are not obliged to monitor the information that they provide or to research whether there are any facts or circumstances indicating illegal activity.
(2) The hosting providers are obliged to take down any illegal or infringing content that they provide, once served with a notice according to the articles 8 and 9 of this Law hereby and so far as it is technically possible providing that the provisions related with penalty obligations shall be reserved.
Access provider’s responsibilities
ARTICLE 6 – (1) The access provider is liable;
a) to take down any illegal content published by any of its customers once made aware of the availability of such content in question in accordance with the provisions of this Law hereby and so far as it is technically possible;
b) to retain all traffic data about the services that it provides as specified in the regulations for the period specified in the regulation which cannot be less than six months and more than two years and to maintain accuracy, integrity and confidentiality of such data;
c) to notify the Authority, content providers and its clients at least three months prior to ceasing its commercial activity and to hand over the retained traffic data records to the Authority subject to the principles and procedures specified in the related regulation.
(2) The access providers are not liable to monitor the information that goes through their networks in order to determine whether they are legal or illegal and to check whether the transmitted data may lead to any responsibility.
(3) The access providers failing in fulfilling the obligations specified in the subparagraphs (b) and (c) of the first paragraph shall be punished with an administrative fine ranging between ten thousand New Turkish Liras and fifty thousand New Turkish Liras issued by the Presidency.

Mass use providers’ responsibilities

ARTICLE 7 – (1) The mass use providers operating on the basis of commercial purposes are liable to obtain an official activity certificate from a local authority representing the central administration. The information related with such permit shall be notified to the Authority by the related local authority. They are inspected and audited by local authorities. The principles and procedures about the issuance of permit certificate and the related inspections are regulated by the regulation.
(2) Regardless of whether based on commercial purposes or not, all mass-use providers shall be liable to deploy and use

any kind of measures to block access to illegal Internet content.
(3) The person not fulfilling the obligation specified in the first paragraph shall be punished with an administrative fine ranging between three thousands New Turkish Liras and fifteen thousand New Turkish Liras as may be issued by the local authority.

Blocking of access order and its execution
ARTICLE 8 – (1) An order shall be issued for blocking the access to websites if there is sufficient suspicion that certain crimes specified below are being committed on the related websites through their contents published on Internet:
a) The crimes specified below included within the Turkish Criminal Code No. 5237, dated 26/9/2004;
1) Encouragement and incitement of suicide (article 84),
2) Sexual exploitation and abuse of children (article 103, first paragraph),
3) Facilitation of the provision and use of narcotic drugs and stimulant substances (article 190),
4) Provision of dangerous substances for health (article 194),
5) Obscenity (article 226),
6) Prostitution (article 227),
7) Provision of place and facilities for gambling (article 228).
b) The crimes included within the scope of the Law No. 5816 on Crimes Committed against Atatürk dated 25/7/1951.
(2) The blocking orders are issued by a judge during preliminary investigation, and by the courts during trial. During preliminary investigation, the Public Prosecutor can also issue a blocking order through a precautionary injunction if a delay could be prejudicial to the investigation. In this case, the Public Prosecutor submits his injunction decision to a judge within twenty-four hours and the judge decides on the matter not later than in twenty-four hours. If the decision is not approved within the said time period, the precautionary injunction shall be immediately lifted by the Public Prosecutor. Objections to the blocking decision rendered as a precautionary measure may be brought pursuant to the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law No. 5271, dated 4/12/2004.
(3) A copy of the blocking orders issued by the judges, courts or Public Prosecutors is sent to Presidency for execution.
(4) The blocking orders shall be issued by the Presidency ex-officio when the content or hosting provider of the websites broadcasting the contents committing the crimes specified in the first paragraph are situated abroad or if the content in question involves the crimes specified in the subparagraphs (2) and (5) of the paragraph (a) of the first clause, the related blocking orders shall similarly be issued by the Presidency ex-officio even if even if the related content or hosting provider is based in Turkey. This order shall be notified to the related access provider and the related provider shall be required to execute such order.
(5) The blocking order shall be executed immediately and not later than in twenty-four hours upon the notification of the related order.
(6) If the identities of those who are responsible for the content subject to blocking orders issued by the Presidency are established, the Presidency should request from Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office to prosecute the perpetrators.
(7) If a preliminary investigation does not result in a prosecution, the blocking order issued would be automatically removed. In such cases, the Public Prosecutor shall send a copy of the no-prosecution decision to the Presidency.
(8) If a prosecution fails and a not guilty verdict is issued, the blocking order issued shall be automatically considered as null and void. In this case, a copy of the verdict of not guilty issued by the court shall be sent to the Presidency.
(9) IF the content deemed to be committing the crimes listed in the first paragraph is removed from the Internet, then the blocking order would be lifted by the Public Prosecutor during investigation and by a court during prosecution.
The responsible authorities of the hosting or access providers not complying with the blocking orders issued as a precautionary injunction shall be punished with imprisonment from six months up to two years unless their acts constitute another crime requiring a heavier punishment.
(11) If the blocking order issued as an administrative precaution is not executed duly, the access provider shall be punished with an administrative fine ranging between ten thousand New Turkish Liras and one hundred thousand New Turkish Liras issued by the Presidency. If an access provider fails to execute the blocking order within twenty-four hours of being issued an administrative fine, the Authority may decide on revocation of the access provider’s official authorization upon the request of the Presidency.
All decisions of the Presidency or the Authority issued in relation to the administrative fines due to the offences defined within this Law hereby may be appealed through having recourse to legal remedies in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Justice Procedure Act No. 2577, dated 6/1/1982.
(13) (Annexed: 5/11/2008-5809/67 article) The Presidency may object to the judicial decisions issued by the judges and courts which are sent to the Presidency for execution of procedures in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure No. 5271, dated 4/12/2004.

Removal of content and the right to reply
ARTICLE 9 – (1) The individuals who claim that their personal rights are infringed through content on the Internet may get into contact with the content provider, or hosting provider if the related content provider cannot be contacted; and ask them to remove the related content and to publish their replies on the same pages the infringing material was published for a period of one week with the same impact area of the previous publication. The content or hosting provider should execute such request within two days upon its receipt. If such request is not fulfilled within this period, it shall be considered as rejected.
(2) If the request is considered rejected, the related individual may take his case to a local criminal court of peace within fifteen days and request the court to issue a take down order for the removal of the content and enforce publication of his reply on the Internet for a period of one week with the same impact area of the previous publication. The judge of the

criminal court of peach shall issue its decision about this request without trial within three days. An objection can be raised against the decision of the criminal court of peace according to the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
(3) The related content shall be removed and the prepared reply shall be published within two days of notification of the final decision issued by the judge of the criminal court of peace to the content or hosting provider not complying with the application submitted in accordance with the first paragraph.

(4) The responsible authority that fails the comply with the decision issued by the judge of the criminal court of peace in accordance with the conditions specified in this article and within the given period shall be punished with imprisonment from six months up to two years. If the content or hosting provider is a legal entity, then the provision of this clause hereby shall apply for the publishing executive of the related entity.

Administrative structure and duties
ARTICLE 10 – (1) The liabilities and duties assigned with this Law hereby are fulfilled by the Presidency established under the structure of the Authority.
(2) With this Law hereby, the staff in the attached list is created and added to the list numbered (II) enclosed to the Law of Wireless Communication No. 2813, dated 5/4/1983 for use in the service of the Presidency. The provisions related with the financial, social rights and benefits applied for Telecommunication Experts working for the Authority shall apply for the communication experts under the structure of the Presidency. Providing that the rights of the personnel assigned to the Presidency as Communications Experts shall be reserved, the career system shall be regulated with a regulation to be issued in six months as of the enforcement date of the Law.
(3) Any kind of procurement of goods and services to be performed in relation to the tasks assigned to the Presidency as required by the Law shall be covered and paid from the budget of the Authority without being subject to the provisions of the Public Procurement Law No. 4734, dated 4/1/2002 and of the Public Procurement Contracts Law No. 4735, dated 6/1/2002 excluding the cases of penalties and banning from tenders.
(4) Providing that the other duties and authorities granted by the laws shall be reserved, the duties and authorities of the Presidency as assigned within the scope of this Law hereby shall include the following:
a) To establish coordination between the Ministry, law enforcement officers, and the related public bodies and institutions and the content, hosting and access providers and the related non-governmental organisations and to carry out activities for preventing activities and broadcasting on Internet including any contents committing the crimes within the scope of this Law hereby; and to establish work groups to this effect when required, the costs and expenses of which shall be covered by the Authority in accordance with the principles and procedures to be determined by the regulation.
b) To monitor the contents of the broadcasts through Internet and to take necessary measures specified in this Law hereby for blocking of access to such contents if it is determined that the crimes covered by this Law hereby are committed by such content.
c) To determine the level, timing and procedure of monitoring of the contents broadcast through Internet.
ç) To determine the principles and procedures about the systems and the arrangements for filtering and blocking which will be used in the authorization certificates issued for the operators by the Authority and the permit certificates issued for the commercial-purpose mass-use providers by the local authorities.
d) To establish or procure the establishment of any required technical infrastructure including a monitoring and information center for preventing the crimes listed in the first paragraph of the article 8 of this Law hereby through monitoring of the broadcasts on Internet; and to operate or procure the operation of this infrastructure.
e) To determine the minimum criteria concerning the production of hardware or software in accordance with the principles of filtering, screening and monitoring to be performed in various public services on Internet environment.
f) To establish cooperation and coordination with the international authorities and institutions in the fields of data processing and Internet.
g) To provide any kind of support and assistance as far as possible within the limits of its technical facilities and to establish coordination with the authorized and assigned law enforcement officers and forces and prosecution authorities in order to ensure prevention of promotion of any products including any kind of representative images, texts or sounds, importation or keeping of such products within the country, or rental or leasing or sales of such products processing any items committing the crimes listed in the first paragraph of the article 8 of this Law hereby.
(5) The Presidency shall establish the required cooperation and coordination with the Internet Board to be established with the participation of one representative to be selected by the Ministry from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Internal Affairs, the State Ministry responsible for children, women and family affairs, the Authority and the other required ministries, public bodies and institutions and the Internet Service Providers and the related non-governmental organizations as per the additional article 1 of the Law no. 3348 on Organization and Duties of the Ministry of Transport; the Presidency shall take any kind of measures or decisions required upon receiving the recommendations for determination of the websites broadcasting the contents required to be monitored, filtered and blocked and any similar issues.

Regulations
ARTICLE 11 – (1) The principles and procedures about the execution of this Law hereby shall be regulated with the regulations to be issued by the Prime Ministry upon receiving the opinions of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Transport. Such regulations shall be issued within four months as of the date of enforcement of the Law.
(2) The principles and procedures for issuance of authorization certificates for the individuals willing to operate as a hosting or access provider for performing such operations as a hosting or access provider regardless of whether they have authorization certificate for communication via telecommunications shall be regulated with a regulation to be issued by the Authority. Such regulation shall be issued within five months as of the date of enforcement of the Law.

Amendments in the related laws
ARTICLE 12- (1) (related with the Telegraph and Telephone Law No. 406, dated 4/2/1924 and recorded duly.) (2) (related with th Law No. 2559 on Duties and Powers of the Police, dated 4/7/1934 and recorded duly.)
(3) (related with the Law No. 2813 on Wireless Communication, dated 5/4/1983 and recorded duly.)

(4) (related with the Law no. 2937 on State Intelligence Services and National Intelligence Organization, dated 1/11/1983 and recorded duly.)

ADDITIONAL ARTICLE 1 – (Additional: 5/11/2008-5809/67 article)

(1) Fundamental and continuous tasks and services imposed on Telecommunications Communications Presidency are performed by occupational personnel and other staff consisting communications chief expert, communications expert, technical expert, administrative expert and communications assistant expert, technical assistant expert and administrative assistant expert. In the Presidency: Personnel working in president, head of department, consultant and occupational personnel positions must be graduated from faculty or departments of electronic, electric-electronic, electronic and communications, industry, physics, mathematics, computer, telecommunications and business administration engineering for engineering field; faculty or departments of political sciences, economics and administrative sciences, economy, law, business administration and communication for social sciences field or from faculties abroad whose equivalency to the abovementioned faculties or departments are approved by the notified bodies; or besides graduating from the specified departments, they must have studied for master’s degree or doctorate in the mentioned fields, personnel working in expert titled positions must have bachelor’s degree, other personnel must be graduated from high school or the equivalent, at least. Those graduated from Security Sciences Faculties may also be appointed to head of department positions. Of the Presidency personnel; heads of departments shall be appointed by the Board upon the proposal of Telecommunications Communications President and the assent of Chairman of the Board; other personnel shall be appointed by Chairman of the Board upon the proposal of Telecommunications Communications President.

(2) In order to be assigned as assistant experts, it is a must to graduate from faculty or departments laid down above, to enter central competition examination, to know at least one of the specified foreign languages in required level, not being over thirty as of the first day of January of the year when the Authority examination took place and to be successful in such examination.

(3) Personnel, who work as assistant experts, on condition of having worked three years at least and possessing good qualification record, may be appointed as communications expert, technical expert or administrative expert upon the approval of their thesis and providing that they have successfully passed from the qualification examination. Such personnel’s degree of office shall be promoted one grade for only once. Personnel who fail twice in thesis justification and in qualification exam shall loose the title of assistant expert and be appointed to positions according to their qualifications.

(4) Other provisions pertaining to the entrance and qualification tests, working procedures and principles of experts and assistant experts shall be regulated with a regulation issued by the Authority.
(5) Positions listed in this Law and the annexed table no. (V) have been created and annexed to the list no. (I) enclosed to the Law no 5651, in order to be employed in the services of Telecommunications Communication Presidency. PROVISIONAL ARTICLE 1- (1) The costs and expenses for the construction of the service building of the Presidency should be covered and paid from the budget of the Authority without being subject to the provisions of the Public Procurement Law and Public Procurement Contracts Law excluding any kind of penalties and bans from tenders.

(2) The mass-use providers still in operation for commercial purposes shall be obliged to receive the permit certificate required to be obtained as per the article 7 within six months following the date of enforcement of this law hereby. PROVISIONAL ARTICLE 2 - (Additional: 5/11/2008-5809/67 article)
(1) Among the personnel working in Telecommunications Communication Presidency positions who meet educational requirements prescribed in additional article 1 may be appointed as communications experts within five years as of the publication date of this Law hereby, on condition that they have completed three years of public service, they received minimum 60 points from Public Personnel Language Examination (KPDS) or the equivalent grade from internationally accepted examinations, and on condition that their thesis is approved. Among such personnel, those who have been assigned in other public corporations and institutions by succeeding in competition examinations in line with the specific legislations thereof, and who have been appointed as occupational career personnel upon succeeding in the qualification test and approval of the thesis, may be appointed as communications experts as long as they meet the requirement for foreign language; and among such personnel who have completed master’s or doctorate studies may be appointed directly as communications experts as long as their master’s or doctorate theses are determined to be relevant with the fields of duty of the Authority or the Presidency, and of such personnel who have bachelor’s degree may be appointed as communications experts, on condition of meeting foreign language requirement.

(2) The personnel of Telecommunications Communication Presidency, who have bachelor’s degree may be appointed as technical expert or administrative expert in accordance with their educational background within five years as of the publication date of this Law hereby, on condition of completing three years of public service, meeting the requirements prescribed in the regulation to be enacted and being approved of their thesis or having graduate or doctorate degree with thesis.

(3) The individuals still operating as hosting or access providers shall be issued an authorization certificate for operation under the capacity as hosting or access provider regardless of whether they have authorization certificates for communication via telecommunications.

Enforcement

ARTICLE 13 – Of this Law hereby;
a) the articles 3 and 8 shall come into force in six months after the date of publication; b) and the other articles shall come into force on the date of publication of the Law.

Execution
ARTICLE 14-(1) The provisions of this Law hereby shall be executed by the Council of Ministers.