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Consumer Rights in Turkey
A few members asked about this recently. I found this article by a Turkish Attorney published in Todays Zaman but for the life of me I cannot get it linked.

The whole article is therefore here and I apologise to the admin but I think it may be useful to members :eek:

'Under Turkish law, the legal status of all consumer-related transactions is governed by the Consumer Protection Law. This legislation is the main protection for consumer rights along with additional supplementary legislation. The Consumer Protection Law, officially known as Law No. 4077, was enacted on Feb. 23, 1995 and came into force after it was published in the Official Gazette on March 8, 1995. In 2003 the law underwent amendments to increase protection and harmonize it with European Union legislation.

The purpose and the scope of the Consumer Protection Law is stated in Article 1: "…to take measures aimed at protecting the health, safety and economic interests of consumers in line with the public good, building consumer awareness, indemnifying losses incurred by consumers and protecting them against environmental hazards; to promote consumer initiatives aimed at protecting consumer interests and to encourage volunteer organizations aimed at devising consumer-related policies."

Are you a consumer?
In order to be protected by this law, you should be a consumer as defined by this law. The definition of a consumer is outlined in Article 3 of the Consumer Protection Law. According to this definition, the consumer can either be a real person or a legal entity purchasing, using or benefiting from goods or services without having any professional or commercial purpose. If the business dealing with the good or service generates money for the user, then the user is not considered within the scope of the law.
Joint stock corporations are also entitled to benefit from the rights granted to the consumer.
However, the Turkish Supreme Court of Appeals has ruled that considering the first paragraph of Article 21 of the Turkish Commercial Code, a joint stock corporation, a limited liability partnership and any other commercial entity of whatever nature are unable to enter into agreements that have a consumer-based character, cannot be protected by the Consumer Protection Law and are therefore unable to benefit from the rights granted to consumers by this law.
Therefore, "legal entities" referred to in Article 3 of the Consumer Protection Law are deemed to be charitable foundations and associations that are not entitled to carry out any commercial activities.

What is the scope of the law?
The second section of the Consumer Protection Law covers matters related to rights and obligations of sellers and buyers in respect to defective goods and/or services or unfair terms for the consumer in the sales agreement. The scope of the law is quite significant in that it also covers issues such as time-share vacations, packaged tours, campaign sales, door-to-door sales, distance contracts, consumer credit, credit cards, subscription contracts for periodicals, warranties, user manuals, post sales services, commercials, etc.

How can I contact a consumer protection council or the court?
To contact the consumer protection council, visit your local administration (kaymakamlık). There are councils in all of Turkey's 81 provinces.
To contact consumer courts, visit the nearest courthouse. Some courthouses do not have a separate consumer court, so an ordinary court serves the purpose.

Is there a statute of limitations for consumer rights cases?
Yes. The statute of limitations is tied to the value of the good sold. This limit was around $600 in 2007. If your claim is lower than this limit, consult the consumer protection council; if your claim is above this value, turn to the consumer court for your claim.
In case the seller does not fulfill the order of the council, seek redress with the consumer court because a decision by the court will be enforceable by legal authorities.
In case the decision of the council is not in your favor, you can appeal to the consumer court within 15 days and the decision of the court shall be final.'

Source: Berk Cektir wrining in Todays Zaman circa July 2008


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