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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

TURKEY

A major development in media regulation in Turkey has been the amendment of the Law on the Regulation of Publications on the Internet and Suppression of Crimes Committed by Means of Such Publications, also known as the “Social Media Law”.


The Social Media Law introduced a new definition for social network providers, which includes social media companies that provide a platform for users to create, view and share content, therefore having a direct effect on a number of “new media” sources.


Having defined social network providers, the law imposed several obligations; notably the obligation to appoint a representative in Turkey to act as a contact between foreign social network providers and Turkish authorities.


The obligation to appoint a local representative commenced on 02 October 2020, following the publication of the clarifying principles and procedures by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority.


Failure by foreign social network providers to appoint a local representative is sanctioned in accordance with a five-tier system.


The first two tiers of sanctions were applied against social network providers that failed to appoint representatives within the respective deadlines of 30 and 60 days as of 02 October 2020.


The upcoming tiers of sanctions involve stricter measures, including a blanket prohibition of advertising and an eventual throttling of bandwidth by up to 90 per cent.

For non-compliant social network providers, the ban on advertising comes into effect in January 2021 and bandwidth restrictions are expected to be implemented in May.


The effect that these more severe sanctions may have on the business models of social network providers has become more apparent, with several social network providers said to be closer to appointing local representatives.


An indication of this potential change in stance was evident in YouTube’s announcement that it will be establishing a local representative.


However, there is an expectation that some of the larger social network providers may still refuse to comply; with one theory being that acquiescing to such an obligation may be viewed as the first domino in a sequence that will require mandatory local representation in other jurisdictions.


As such social network providers have become an integral part of Turkish media and advertising industries, there will be an obvious economic effect on the platforms and businesses that rely up them.

Therefore, the first half of 2021 will be significant in seeing the extent to which the ongoing game of regulatory tug-of-war will continue.


Written by

Bentley Yaffe, Partner

CETINKAYA

TIER 1

Lawyers at ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law have extensive experience advising media-sector clients. The team works on a range of cases including the launch of new media platforms, film productions and distribution arrangements. Prominent practitioner Gönenc Gürkaynak is the firm’s key contact for media, entertainment and information technology law.


Gün + Partners has a high profile portfolio with clients from the broadcast and music sectors. Areas of specialisation include internet, private broadcasting and electronic communication. The firm’s service areas include advisory, transactional, dispute resolution and compliance. Clients single out Ugur Aktekin for his due diligence.


Specialising in advertising, media and entertainment, NSN Law Firm routinely assists advertising agencies, radio broadcasters and television producers. Lawyers have in-depth knowledge of the gaming sector, with experience assisting computer games companies and intermediary firms conducting sweepstakes and contests. Key practitioners Selma Ünlü and Nazli Selek advise on local and multinational media cases.  


Pekin & Pekin’s media and entertainment team operates under the management of the  corporate practice, combining expertise in the area of tax, banking and dispute resolution. Corporate transactions account for a significant proportion of the firm’s work - with deals involving the print industry. Founding partner Ahmed Pekin manages the full-service practice, which has been operational for over four decades.


TIER 2

Çaga & Çaga Law Firm acts for magazines and newspapers, entertainment companies and advertisers. The team advises on media-related investments, management and re-organisations. Lawyers provide cross-practice assistance on tax and commercial disputes. S. Idil Caga Degerli and Erdem Degerli are the firm’s primary contacts for sector-related cases.


Litigation specialist Cahit Suluk has significant experience in the area of rights protection. Founding partner Cahit Suluk is highly regarded litigator and established figure in the legal market. In related work, the team advised Turksat, the country’s only cable television operator, on re-transmission rights. In other work the team assisted with sublicensing issues relating to a television series screened on local

television channels.


Cerrahoglu Law Firm’s experience includes merger and acquisition advice to radio channels. The firm represents world-leading media companies, advising on media legislation and commercial law. The team negotiates a number of corporate transactions between Turkish partners and global media corporations.


The TMT group at Güner Law Office works with some of the country’s largest media companies advising on regulatory and transactional matters. The practice also has a dedicated intellectual property practice, specialising in all aspects of copyright. Founding partner Ece Güner manages the firm, which is also known for its litigation and arbitration expertise.   


TIER 3

CETINKAYA is a full-service law firm based in Istanbul, serving local and international clients. The team has extensive expertise in the fields of intellectual property, media and entertainment as well as technology. The firm advises a range of clients on the establishment of IP TV services, VOIP services and telecommunication services, such as in-car internet. The firm manages intellectual property portfolios, supporting clients in trademark, copyright, and patent law. Cetinkaya also has considerable experience in dispute resolution, business crime, competition, compliance, corporate, employment and tax law. Partners in the media and entertainment department include Orcun Cetinkaya and Bentley Yaffe.


Gökce Attorney Partnership has deep knowledge and experience in the media sector, acting for leading individual and companies that have game-changing business models. Adopting Gökce’s long-lasting principle of “Answers. Not Theories.”, the media team excelled its skills in intellectual property law, data protection law, e-commerce law, internet law. Gökce represents its clients on complex disputes and provide advice on daily business on traditional and digital media. Led by partners Görkem Gökce, Prof. Dr. Ali Pasli and Dr Bedii Kaya, the team’s clients range from authors, artists, publishers, producers, game developers and publishers, streaming platforms and online content providers; such as, Spotify, Sony, Masomo/Miniclip, Nimo.tv, Zynga/Gram Games, Onedio.


TIER 4

Öncel, Aydin, Duman & Uygun Attorney Partnership combines e-commerce, IT and media law under one practice group. With particular focus on mergers and acquisitions, the team advises on investments, compliance and legislation. Lawyers are also have experience in handling copyright and advertising disputes.


Gültekin Law Office has two decades of experience advising clients in the media sector. The firm works with clients on media-related investments, management and organisation and daily operations. Other core areas of emphasis include advertising regulations and licensing.  


TIER 1

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law

Gün + Partners

NSN Law Firm

Pekin & Pekin


TIER 2

BTS & Partners

Caga & Caga  

Suluk Intellectual Property

Cerrahoglu Law Firm

Güner Law Office

Moroglu Arseven


TIER 3

Esin Attorney Partnership (Member firm of Baker McKenzie)

CETINKAYA

Gökce Attorney Partnership

Soydemir Hukuk Bürosu

Sengüler & Sengüler

Taboğlu Attorneys at Law


TIER 4

Durmaz Law Firm

Cigdemtekin Cakırca Aranci   

Goksu Safi Isik  

Gültekin Law Office

Öncel, Aydin, Duman & Uygun Attorney Partnership




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