Postponement of the Deadlines for Registration with the Commercial Electronic Message Management System (IYS)
The Regulation on Making Amendments to the Regulation on Commercial Communication and Commercial Electronic Messages  (“the Regulation”) has been published in the Official Gazette dated 04.01.2020 and numbered 30998. Pursuant to the Regulation, the obligation to register with the Commercial Electronic Message Management System (“the IYS”) is imposed on the real and legal persons that send commercial electronic messages. The temporary article 2 of the Regulation sets forth that the approvals obtained within the scope of the Regulation shall be transferred to the IYS by the service providers until 01.06.2020.
On 23.05.2020, an announcement  has been published on the website of the Ministry of Trade and thus, it has been announced that the deadline for uploading the approvals to the IYS by the service providers with the deadline 31.05.2020 has been postponed until 31 August 2020.
This newsletter has been prepared in order to furnish information about the concept “IYS” and the deadlines postponed within this context, pursuant to the aforesaid Regulation.
What is commercial electronic message?
In Turkish Law, the term “commercial electronic message” was regulated for the first time by the Law numbered 6563 on the Regulation of Electronic Commerce  (“the Law”). Furthermore, the Regulation on Commercial Communication and Commercial Electronic Messages  (“the E-Message Regulation”) was published in the Official Gazette dated 15 July 2015 and numbered 29417. Under this Regulation, it is aimed to regulate the principles and procedures regarding the obligations to inform about the commercial communications performed through electronic means of communication and the principles and procedures regarding the matters necessary to be followed in commercial electronic messages.
The E-Message Regulation defines commercial electronic message as: “Messages with data, audio and video content, which are sent for commercial purposes and performed in electronic environment by using means such as telephone, call centers, fax, automatic dialing machines, smart voice recorder systems, electronic mail, short message services”. Within this context, in order to say that there is a commercial electronic message, it is necessary that the message is sent in electronic environment and that it is sent for commercial purposes.
What is Message Management System (IYS)?
The concept “Commercial Electronic Message Management System (IYS)” is set out by the Regulation amending the E-Message Regulation. In the Regulation, it is prescribed that an entity, to which the authorization to establish the commercial electronic message management system is granted by the Ministry of Trade, shall establish the IYS. So then, the processes for obtaining approval for receipt of electronic messages, for the exercise of the right to refuse, for the receipt of and reporting complaints about commercial electronic messages and for the conduct of the complaints will henceforth be carried out through the IYS.
The Regulation defines the IYS as: “A system which enables the receipt of approvals for commercial electronic messages, the exercise of the right to refuse and the management of the complaint processes”. So then, under the Law and the Regulation, it is set out that the commercial messages, which will be sent to the recipients by the service providers, shall not be sent without the recipient’s approval, other than the exceptions determined by the Regulation and that it is necessary to provide the recipients with the opportunity to refuse, in the messages sent within the permission.
What is the purpose of the Message Management System?
As defined in the Law and in the Regulation; in the communication approvals that will be obtained for commercial messages, the recipient’s signature shall be required, if the approval is obtained in physical environment. However, in practice, it is quite a difficult process to store and archive these documents, to ensure the security and confidentiality of the documents and to unarchive these documents when necessary. It is stated that, in cases where such information is received in electronic environment, the information regarding the receipt of the approval should be transmitted to the recipient’s electronic communication address within the same day. Thus, also in the approvals received in electronic environment, the electronic records regarding the receipt of the approval from the permission holder should be maintained and these records should be preserved securely.
After the electronic message permission is obtained from the permission holders, the permission holders are not able to keep track of what firms they have granted the permission, and they have to exercise, separately for each service provider, the opportunity to refuse which is notified to them by a commercial electronic message in order to revoke their permission for commercial electronic messages.
In order to prevent such problems experienced in practice, it became necessary to make certain legal arrangements in the Law and in the Regulation. Within this context, by the Ministry of Trade, it was decided that a national commercial electronic management system shall be established, and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey was entrusted with the task for establishment of this system. The IYS is a national database system where the service providers can keep and manage the permissions for messages in different types such as call, short message and e-mail, where the recipients can monitor and remove the permissions they have granted, where the recipients can submit their complaints about unpermitted transmissions and where the public can monitor the complaints about messages and the situation of the permission relevant to the complaint and which will serve through a website, a short message number and a call center and which will record all the permissions by timestamps and store all the permissions securely.
Postponement of the deadlines for the Message Management System
Pursuant to the relevant Regulation, the obligation to register with the IYS is imposed on the real and legal persons that send commercial electronic messages. The temporary article 2 of the Regulation sets out that the approvals obtained within the scope of the Regulation shall be transferred to the IYS by the service providers until 01.06.2020 and that the approvals recorded into the IYS should be checked by the recipients until 01.09.2020 and that the commercial electronic messages, sent after expiration of this period, shall be deemed to be approved.
Besides, an announcement has been published on the website of the Ministry of Trade on 23.05.2020 and thus, it has been stated that the requests from the non-governmental organizations and from the companies in different sectors for the postponement of the deadlines, related to the IYS, have been transmitted to the Ministry of Trade, which requests have been submitted by the reason that, as with many Countries, our Country is affected negatively by the Covid-19 outbreak and that significant disruptions have occurred in the business processes.
Thus, after these requests have been evaluated by the Ministry of Trade, it has been announced that the deadline for uploading the approvals to the IYS by the service providers with the deadline 31 May 2020 has been postponed until 31 August 2020, in order not to aggrieve the businesses.
At the point of transfer of the existing databases to the IYS, the message approvals granted to the service providers shall be transferred to the IYS by those service providers until September. The approvals shall be checked by the citizens until December; and in case the right to refuse is not exercised, the data transferred to the IYS shall be deemed to be approved.