Electronic Commerce

1-) Importance of Electronic Commerce
Electronic commerce is the fastest type of trading in today’s conditions. Trading at a fast rate is important in terms of enhancing investments, high employment and growth rate. The contribution of internet economy  to our national economy may only be possible through forming the legal infrastructure of the e-commerce rules.
Some of the positive effects of e-commerce on economy: 
  • Supply of goods and services without intermediaries

  • Less transaction cost

  • Access to cross border markets

  • Market expansion

  • Easy stock management

  • Time and cost saving

  • Diversification of customer portfolio

  • Competitive advantage

  • Wide range of products and price advantage 

2-) Electronic Commerce Act of Turkey
In subparagraph (f) of the first paragraph of Article 9 in Decree no. 640 governing the Organization and Duties of Ministry of Customs and Trade issued in the Official Gazette on 08.06.2011, the Ministry was granted the authority and responsibility to issue regulations on electronic commerce and to implement the duties entrusted by the legislation  as regardsthe improvement and expansion of e-commerce..
Electronic Commerce Act became a necessity for the reasons mentioned below:
  • Development of information technologies,

  • Change of trading and shopping styles,

  • The fact that e-commerce is becoming widespread,

  • Trust and transparency requirements in e-commerce transactions,

  • Protection requirement for consumers,

  • Adaptation to the Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Union.

Within this context, the e-commerce Act has been enacted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 23/10/2014 and was issued in the Official Gazette dated 5/11/2014. Besides, the Act entered into force on 01/05/2015.
3-) Content of the Electronic Commerce Act
General information for those who are engaged in commercial activities, commercial communication and basic regulations such as prior consent and the right of refusal (unsubscribe mechanism) related to commercial electronic messages were mentioned in detail within the Act which described the Ministry of Customs and Trade as the executive authority.    

In addition, the rules applicable on the contracts prepared by means of electronic devices, information to be provided before the contract or during the order and other issues regarding the intermediary service providers providing the platform for electronic commerce are regulated by the Act.
The Act having 17 articles (16 articles and a provisional article) provides regulations mainly in 2 fields : information liabilities on e-contract and online order and commercial communication-unsolicited commercial messages, namely SPAM.
4-) Information Liabilities on E-Contract and Online Order
By virtue of the Act, online shopping is aimed to be regulated for safe online shopping experiences. For this reason, service providers are obliged to provide sufficient information on the e-commerce platform. The Act stipulates that the service provider and intermediary service provider will;
  • provide current introductory information such as company name, address, phone number etc. (Article 3)

  • provide sufficient, accessible and appropriate technical tools to the recipient before the order in order to determine and correct data errors (Article 4)

  • provide information regarding technical steps required to form a contract. (Article 3)

  • enable recipients to keep contract terms and standardized terms of contract. (Article 3)

  • inform recipients regarding the possibility of accessing the contract prepared via electronic devices and keeping the contract at later stages . (Article 3)

  • enable recipients to see total amount of purchase during the confirmation  of order and make sure that the order has been received via electronic devices. (Article 4)

  • be responsible for keeping the data collected during each step of e-commerce process and also for the security of the relevant data. (Article 10) 

5-) Commercial Communication and Unsolicited Commercial Messages
Commercial electronic messages may be sent  only if the senders are allowed by recipients beforehand. The Act also stipulates,
  • the maintenance of transparency, identification ofcontact information of the seller and initiation of the terms of promotions  . (Articles 5,7)

  • Before sending message, consent of the recipient will be obtained, however, the message will be sent without prior consent in case contact information has been given by the recipient and the message is related with the change, usage and maintenance of purchased good/service. (Article 6)

  • Messages will be sent without prior consent only to tradesmen and merchants. (Article 6)

  • Recipients will be able to reject messages free of charge. (Article 8)

In case the liabilities of e-commerce Act are not met, an administrative fine in varying amounts will be imposed. In addition, by virtue of the Act, the authorization to take any measure regarding the development of e-commerce is granted to the Ministry of Customs and Trade along with authorization of audit.

 Details of the aforementioned issues will be specified by the secondary legislation which will be introduced by the Ministry of Customs and Trade with valuable contributions of all stakeholders.

 On the other hand, the responsibility of the actions with respect to the formation of the trust mark system, tracking and analyzing the electronic commerce and complementing the legislative infrastructure have been detailed in the Information Society Strategy of 2015-2018 at theMinistry.

Recent Developments on e-Commerce
Secondary legislation studies have been initiated regarding the implementation of the Law No. 6563, which aims to spread e-commerce, protect consumers who deal with the electronic environment, and in particular to carry out commercial activities on the internet more securely and transparently. In this respect, "Regulation on Commercial Communication and Commercial Electronic Messages" and “Regulation on Service Providers and Intermediary Service Providers in Electronic Commerce” have entered into force.
The drafts of the Communiqué on Trust Mark in Electronic Commerce and the Obligations of Notification in Electronic Commerce were prepared and opened to public institutions and organizations as of 22/09/2016 and Communiqué on Trust Mark in Electronic Commerce issued in the Official Gazette on 06/06/2017, and entered into force.
With the Communiqué on Trust Mark in Electronic Commerce, it is aimed to establish a trust mark system for e-commerce sites in order to increase the demand for online shopping in our country, to develop the trust perception in this area, and to establish a structure for documenting and auditing within this system framework. It is believed that the Communiqué will contribute positively to improving the quality of service, and ultimately increase the e-commerce volume, by means of eliminating  the worries about security and service quality issues for the internet users in online shopping.
With the Draft Communiqué on the Obligations of Notification in Electronic Commerce, it is aimed to continuously compile and track data and indicators for the creation of healthy and sustainable policies, strategies and actions in e-commerce.

The purpose of the Draft Communiqué is to provide services to the intermediary service providers in order to contribute to the development of the e-commerce policy and the mobile application and domain name of the service provider operating in its own electronic environment, electronic trade type, commercial activities other than electronic commerce activity, the types of goods and services, payment methods offered in the electronic commerce environment will be provided to our Ministry.
“In this respect, work on the finalization of the draft of Communiqué on the  Obligations of Notification in Electronic Commerce is continuing in the framework of the opinions of the interested parties and the Communiqué will be sent to the Prime Ministry for publication in the Official Gazette upon completion of the related studies.”

Key ICT and e-Commerce Statistics


  • As of April 2016, the rate of individuals using the internet was 61.2%.
  • As of the third quarter of 2016, the number of broadband internet subscribers reached 59.1 million.
  • As of the third quarter of 2016, the number of mobile broadband subscribers receiving 3G and 4,5G services from mobile computer and mobile internet service increased to 48.978.066.
  • As of 2016, the rate of individuals who use the Internet to purchase or purchase goods or services for personal use over the Internet has increased by 1% compared to the previous year, to 34.1%.
  • As of the end of September 2016, the transactions on the internet have reached 50 billion TL.