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The Law on Mitigating the Effects of the New Corona Virus (Covid-19) Outbreak on Economic and Social Life with the Law on Making Amendments to Certain Laws, Numbered 7244

2020, Erdemir&Özmen Attorney Partnership

The Law on Mitigating the Effects of the New Corona Virus (Covid-19) Outbreak on Economic and Social Life with the Law on Making Amendments to Certain Laws, Numbered 7244

We submit below for your information the articles adopted under “The Law on Mitigating the Effects of the New Corona Virus (Covid-19) Outbreak on Economic and Social Life with the Law on Making Amendments to Certain Laws [1]”, numbered 7224 and published in Official Gazette dated 17.04.2020 (“the Law”). 

The Law makes quite significant legal arrangements in relation to the Labor Law. It is prescribed that:

  • The employees who are granted unpaid leave by their employers and are unable to benefit from the short-time working allowance and the employees who are unable to benefit from the unemployment allowance as per the other provisions of this Law and whose employment contracts are terminated within the scope of the article 51 after 15/3/2020 shall be provided cash wage support through the Fund in the amount of 39.24 Turkish Liras on a daily basis for the period of time corresponding to the period that they become unemployed or take unpaid leave within this period of time, provided that the period referred to in the temporary article 10 of the Code numbered 4857, during which termination shall not be made, is not exceeded and that those employees do not receive old age pension from any social security institution; 
  • In case it is found that employer employs on a de facto basis the employee who benefits from the cash wage support as the employee takes unpaid leave, the provincial directorates of the labor and employment agency shall impose administrative fine on the employer in the amount of the monthly gross minimum wage determined by the article 39 of the Code numbered 4857 on the date that the action has been committed, which administrative fine shall be imposed separately for each employee who has been employed in this way and for each month that the employee has been employed in this way; 
  • For the short-time working applications, on the ground of compelling reason, submitted by the employers due to the new corona virus (Covid-19), the short-time working allowance payment shall be made in line with the employers’ statements without waiting for the completion of the conformity assessment; the payments, made in excess and improperly since the employer has submitted incorrect information and documents, shall be collected from the employer along with their legal interests; this article shall enter into force on the date of its publication provided that it applies as from 29/2/2020; 
  • The employer shall not terminate any employment or service contracts for a period of three months as from 17/04/2020 for any reasons other than the cases in violation of the moral and good faith rules referred to in the article 25/1-(II) of the Labor Code and other than similar reasons;
  • The employer may grant the employee an entirely or a partly unpaid leave provided that its duration shall not exceed three months as from 17/04/2020, and the grant of unpaid leave within the scope of the article shall not confer on the employee the right to terminate the contract by resting on justifiable reason; the employer or employer’s representative, who has terminated the employment contract in violation of this article, shall be punished with administrative fine for each employee whose employment contract has been terminated, which administrative fine shall be in the amount of the monthly gross minimum wage on the date that the action has been committed; the President of the Republic may extend the above three months’ period up to six months.

According to the Law referred to above, the other major developments are as follows:

  • Deferments may be provided in the payment of certain debts to public legal entities;
  • As regards the yearly announcement and advertisement taxes and the yearly environmental cleaning taxes incumbent on the businesses whose activities are suspended or which are unable to perform an activity, the portions of these taxes, which correspond to the periods that their activities are suspended or that they are unable to perform an activity, shall not be collected from these businesses;
  • As regards the loan debts (education loans) included in the scope of the article 16 of the Law on Higher Education Loans and Dormitory Services, the portions of these debts corresponding to this period shall be deferred;
  • The Support and Price Stability Fund (DFIF) credit debts of the agricultural sales cooperative unions shall be postponed to 2021;
  • The 2020 contribution fees, arising from the Law numbered 1618, shall not be collected from the travel agencies;
  • The receivables arising from electricity consumption (the receivables assigned to TEDAS during the privatization transfer processes) shall be structured as specified in this Law;
  • As regards the seaworthiness certificates which were issued to merchant ships and will expire in this period, the validity periods of these certificates shall be extended, and the inspections to be conducted shall be postponed by the beginning of August 2020;
  • The notifications and declarations to be submitted by associations, and the association general assembly meetings shall be postponed until 31/7/2020;
  • The general assembly meetings included in the scope of the Cooperatives Law shall be postponed until 31/7/2020;
  • The periods pertaining to strike and lock-out, settlement of collective labor disputes, conclusion of collective labor agreements and grant of authorization designations included in the scope of the Law on Trade Unions and Collective Labor Agreements shall be extended for a period of three months;
  • The tenders for grant of certificates of occupancy for and renting out the locations that are under the ownership and possession of the State and transactions pertaining to sales, renting out or barter of, construction of buildings in return for flat or land and establishment of limited real rights on the real properties in the private ownership of the Treasury may be carried out in electronic environment until 31/7/2020 by using the technical infrastructure belonging the affiliated and related institutions of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and their participations, in consideration of service fee, and this period may be extended up to 3 months by the Minister of Environment and Urbanization;
  • A force majeure clause has been added into the Public Financial Management and Control Law numbered 5018: In cases of force majeure such as natural disasters e.g. earthquake, fire, flood, or epidemic disease or failure of the Ministry of Treasure and Finance information systems for any reason, the Ministry of Treasury and Finance shall determine the methods for the creation, recording, transmission, preservation and submission of data, information and documents; and in cases of force majeure, the sanctions e.g. interest for delay, late fee and penalty shall not be imposed on the persons concerned due to a delay that might occur in the transactions conducted through the Ministry of Treasury and Finance information systems;
  • In case it is not found necessary to keep as evidence the medical devices and materials which are directly related to the fight against the infectious, epidemic disease and have been seized under this Law until 30/9/2020; the seizing administration or the relevant public institution may request at the investigation phase the judge or at the prosecution phase the court for the allocation thereof, after the samples are taken adequately or if this is not possible, after all kinds of distinctive characteristics thereof are identified, and further, it is possible to object to the decisions rendered upon request; in case it is decreed to return the goods approved to be allocated by the judge or the court, the amount remaining after the customs duties and the fines, if any, are reserved from the fair value of the goods shall be paid to the owner of the goods by the administration in favor of which the goods are allocated, and the period determined may be extended by the President of the Republic for 3 months;
  • In stock corporations, until 30/9/2020, it may be resolved to distribute only maximum twenty-five percent of the net profit for the period 2019, and the prior years’ profits and the free reserves shall not constitute the subject of the distribution, the general assembly shall not grant the board of directors the authorization to distribute advance dividends; and with the exception of the entities which hold directly or indirectly more than fifty percent of the capital of the funds, in which more than fifty percent of the capital belongs to the public, or of the capital of the State, provincial special administrations, municipalities, villages and other public legal entities, in stock corporations, until 30/9/2020, it may be resolved to distribute only maximum twenty-five percent of the net profit for the period 2019, and the President of the Republic may extend this period for 3 months;
  • No exorbitant increase shall be applied to the sales price of a product or service by manufacturers, suppliers and retail businesses; and manufacturers, suppliers and retail businesses shall not carry out any activities that prevent consumers from accessing the goods through the activities which create shortage in the market, disrupt the market balance and free competition; and those that act in violation of this rule may be punished with a fine in the amount between five thousand Turkish Liras and five hundred thousand Turkish Liras; and the power to enforce the punishments that will be inflicted in relation to these matters shall lie with the Unfair Price Evaluation Board and the Ministry;
  • No exorbitant increase shall be applied to the sales price of a product or service by manufacturers, suppliers and retail businesses; and manufacturers, suppliers and retail businesses shall not carry out any activities that prevent consumers from accessing the goods through the activities which create shortage in the market, disrupt the market balance and free competition; and an Unfair Price Evaluation Board shall be established in order to take all kinds of measures and impose administrative fines by performing audits and inspections when necessary;
  • As regards the yearly financial statements and activities which have been audited by an independent auditing firm and pertain to the Company, other companies that will be incorporated by the Company, the Turkish Wealth Fund and the sub-funds that will be created within the body of the Turkish Wealth Fund, these financial statements and activities shall be audited within the framework of the independent audit standards by minimum three central audit staffs who shall be assigned by the Prime Minister and are specialized in the fields of capital markets, finance, economy, public finance, banking, development; the report that will prepared in result of the audit shall be submitted to the Council of Ministers by the end of August every year.

The details of the above statutory articles are as follows.

Article - 1 Postponement, not collecting, or structuring of receivables

On the ground of compelling reason originating from the new corona virus (Covid-19) outbreak:

a) Among the amounts of the damages for unlawful occupation and the amounts necessary to be paid as per the contract in relation to the Treasury immovables; the Minister of Environment and Urbanization is authorized to defer, for a period of 3 months and without the requirement of the relevant application, those necessary to be collected in relation to the 3 months’ period as of 1/4/2020. These periods may, following their expiration, be extended up to 3 months by the Minister of Environment and Urbanization. At the end of the period postponed, these receivables shall be collected in equal monthly installments corresponding to the period postponed, without applying any interests and late fees.

b) The amounts necessary to be collected, for the 3 months’ period as of 1/4/2020, from the immovables and promenades rented out by the General Directorate of Forestry in virtue of the State Tender Law dated 8/9/1983 and numbered 2886 and the permits granted in the name of real persons and private law legal entities in the State forests by virtue of the Forest Law dated 31/8/1956 and numbered 6831, with the exception of the permits granted for tourism facility purposes, are postponed for a period of 3 months without the requirement of the relevant application. The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry is authorized to extend these periods up to 3 months following their expiration. At the end of the period postponed, these receivables shall be collected in equal monthly installments corresponding to the period postponed, without applying any interests and late fees. Furthermore, it is possible to perform site delivery by receiving a bank letter of guarantee against the first-year amounts accrued within the postponement period, for the permits granted. 

c) The amounts necessary to be collected, for the 3 months’ period as of 1/4/2020, from the rentals made as per the provisions of the Law numbered 2886 at the locations subject to the National Parks Law dated 9/8/1983 and numbered 2873 are postponed for a period of 3 months without the requirement of the relevant application. The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry is authorized to extend these periods up to 3 months following their expiration. At the end of the period postponed, these receivables shall be collected in equal monthly installments corresponding to the period postponed, without applying any interests and late fees.

ç) As regards the payments or amounts arising from the rentals, damages for unlawful occupation or sales made pursuant to the relevant legislation in relation to and for immovables in the ownership or possession of metropolitan municipalities, municipalities, provincial special administrations, their affiliated institutions or the local administrative unions in which they are the member; the council, for the metropolitan municipalities, municipalities, provincial special administrations and unions and the competent decision-making body, for the affiliated institutions, are authorized to postpone, for 3 months, the portions of these payments and amounts necessary to be collected for the 3 months’ period as of 19/3/2020. These periods may, following their expiration, be extended up to 3 months by the Minister of Environment and Urbanization or the Minister of Interior by relevance. At the end of the period postponed, these receivables shall be collected in equal monthly installments corresponding to the period postponed, without applying any interests and late fees. Rental fees shall not be collected for the period that the businesses have not performed an activity, in the case that the activities of these businesses are suspended or that these businesses are not allowed to carry out an activity.

d) All the social insurance premium payments as well as the income tax withholding declaration and payment periods pertaining to metropolitan municipalities, municipalities and their affiliated institutions and in addition, those necessary to be collected, for the 3 month’s period as of the effective date of this article, through the yearly installment payments they transfer to the Directorate General for State Hydraulic Works pursuant to the article 4 of the Law dated 3/7/1968 and numbered 1053 on Potable, Domestic and Industrial Water Supply for Residential Areas with Municipal Organization are postponed for 3 months. These periods may, following their expiration, be extended up to 3 months by the President of the Republic. At the end of the period postponed, those shall be collected in equal monthly installments corresponding to the period postponed, without applying any interests and late fees. Throughout the postponement period, the tax assessment and penalty imposition statute of limitation periods referred to in the Tax Procedure Law dated 4/1/1961 and numbered 213 shall not run and the statute of limitations shall extend up to the periods that do not run.

e) As regards the metropolitan municipalities’, municipalities’ and their affiliated institutions’ receivables contingent on the water consumption pertaining to the houses and to the workplaces whose activities are suspended or which are unable to perform an activity, these receivables may be postponed by the municipal council for 3 months provided that these receivables are limited to those necessary to be collected for the 3 months’ period as of the effective date of this article. These periods may be extended by the municipal council up to 3 months following their expiration. At the end of the period postponed, these receivables shall be collected in equal monthly installments corresponding to the period postponed, without applying any interests and late fees.

f) As regards the real and legal persons that operate by obtaining permit or license or renting a line from metropolitan municipalities and municipalities, these real and legal persons may, limited to the uninterrupted execution of the public transport service, be paid income support by metropolitan municipalities and municipalities under the relevant resolution of the municipal council provided that this support is limited to 3 months’ period following the effective date of this article, and the metropolitan municipalities and municipalities may postpone, for 3 months on an interest-free basis, these persons’ license, permit and line rental debts corresponding to the period determined. The Minister of Environment and Urbanization is authorized to extend these periods up to 3 months following their expiration. At the end of the period postponed, the license, permit and line rental debts shall be collected in equal monthly installments corresponding to the period postponed, without applying any interests and late fees.

g) As regards the yearly announcement and advertisement taxes and the yearly environmental cleaning taxes incumbent on the businesses whose activities are suspended or which are unable to perform an activity, the portions of these taxes, which correspond to the periods that their activities are suspended or that they are unable to perform an activity, shall not be collected from these businesses.

ğ) The loan debts, included in the scope of the article 16 of the Law dated 16/8/1961 and numbered 351 on Higher Education Loans and Dormitory Services, are deferred for a period of 3 months without the requirement of the relevant application, provided that these debts are limited to those necessary to be collected for the 3 months’ period as of the effective date of this article. The Minister of Youth and Sports may extend these periods up to 3 months following their expiration. At the end of the period postponed, these debts shall be collected in equal monthly installments corresponding to the period postponed, without applying any interests, late fees or Domestic Producer Price Index (D-PPI).

h) As regards the agricultural sales cooperative unions’ credit debts which arise from the Support and Price Stability Fund (DFIF) and are paid in one installment a year and restructured pursuant to the temporary article 4 of the Law dated 1/6/2000 and numbered 4572 on Agricultural Sales Cooperatives and Unions, the 2020 installment repayment for these debts has been postponed to 2021 on an interest-free basis, and the installment amounts payable in the subsequent years, including 2021, have been deferred for one year on an interest-free basis.

ı) The contribution fee, regulated in the article 35 of the Law dated 14/9/1972 and numbered 1618 on Travel Agencies and the Association of Travel Agencies, shall not be collected in 2020.

i) The Turkish Electricity Distribution Corporation’s (TEDAS) receivables arising from electricity consumption (the receivables assigned to TEDAS during the privatization transfer processes) shall be structured pursuant to the following provisions:

1. As regards all the principal amounts of their receivables which have not been paid by the effective date of this article though they became due by 1/2/2020 (including that date) and which have not been structured pursuant to the article 2 and the temporary article 1 of the Law dated 23/2/2017 and numbered 6824 on the Restructuring of Certain Receivables and Making Amendments to Certain Laws and Decree Laws; the collection of accessories thereof corresponding to the paid portion of these receivables shall be waived, provided that the relevant written application is filed with TEDAS or the distribution/retail sales companies to be forwarded to TEDAS by the end of September 2021 and that the first installment of the payable amount is paid until the last day of October 2021 and that they are paid in totally three equal installments in the month coinciding with the first installment each year. In case the payment is made in compliance with the provisions of this subclause; no interest, increase and coefficient shall apply to the periods that follow the effective date of this article.

2. In case of a litigation or an enforcement proceeding related to the receivables included in the scope of this subparagraph, the action shall be taken as per the subparagraphs (i), (j), (k), (l) and (m) of the first paragraph contained in the article 2 of the Law numbered 6824.

3. In relation to all the receivables included in the scope of this subparagraph, the statute of limitation periods prescribed by the relevant laws shall not run as from 1/2/2020 until the last day of October 2023.

4. The amounts, which have been collected prior to the effective date of this article against the receivables included in the scope of this subparagraph, shall not be returned and refunded on the basis of the provisions contained in this subparagraph.

5. In case the payments determined under this subparagraph are not made in a timely manner, the right to benefit from the provisions of this subparagraph shall be forfeited.

6. The principles and procedures regarding the implementation of this subparagraph shall be determined by TEDAS.

Article – 2 Extension of time, postponement of meeting, and working remotely

On the ground of compelling reason originating from the new corona virus (Covid-19) outbreak:

a) As regards the licenses which were granted under the Law dated 10/2/2005 and numbered 5300 on Licensed Warehouses for Agricultural Products and whose validity periods will expire within 2020, the validity periods of these licenses have been extended for one year.

b) As regards the seaworthiness certificates which were issued to merchant ships under the Law dated 10/6/1946 and numbered 4922 on the Protection of Life and Property at Sea and expire or will expire in the interval between 11/3/2020 and 31/7/2020, the validity periods of these certificates shall be extended up to 1/8/2020. The Minister of Transport and Infrastructure is authorized to extend this period up to 3 months following its expiration.

c) The inspections, which will be carried out under the article 3 of the Law numbered 4922 on the Protection of Life and Property at Sea, shall be postponed until 1/8/2020. The Minister of Transport and Infrastructure is authorized to extend this period up to 3 months.

ç) The associations’ general assembly meetings and the notifications and declarations to be submitted by associations as per the Associations Law dated 4/11/2004 and numbered 5253 and the Turkish Civil Code dated 22/11/2001 and numbered 4721 are postponed until 31/7/2020. The Minister of Interior is authorized to extend this period up to 3 months. The postponed general assembly meetings shall be held within 30 days following the date that postponement period expires. The duties, authorizations and responsibilities of the current bodies shall survive until the next general assembly meeting to be held after the postponement period.

d) The general assembly meetings included in the scope of the Cooperatives Law dated 7/24/4/1969 and numbered 1163 are postponed until 31/7/2000. The relevant Minister may extend this period up to 3 months. The postponed general assembly meetings shall be held within three months following the date that postponement period expires. The duties, authorizations and responsibilities of the current bodies shall survive until the next general assembly meeting to be held after the postponement period.

e) The general assembly meetings included in the scope of the Law dated 11/6/2010 and numbered 5996 on Veterinary Services, Plant Health, Food and Feed and the Law dated 29/6/2004 and numbered 5200 on Agricultural Producers Unions are postponed until 31/7/2020. The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry may extend this period up to 3 months. The postponed general assembly meetings shall be held within three months following the date that postponement period expires. The duties, authorizations and responsibilities of the current bodies shall survive until the next general assembly meeting to be held after the postponement period.

f) The Union’s General Assembly meeting, necessary to be held within May 2020 pursuant to the article 61 of the Law dated 18/5/2004 and numbered 5174 on the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey and the Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, shall be held together with the General Assembly meeting of the next year.

g) The elections, necessary to be held as per the article 33 of the Law dated 18/1/1984 and numbered 2972 on Elections of Local Administrations and Neighborhood Mukhtars and Board of Elderman, shall not be held in 2020. 

ğ) The Minister of Industry and Technology may grant permission for the conduct of the activities, carried out in R&D and design centers under the Law dated 28/2/2008 and numbered 5746 on Supporting Research, Development and Design Activities, also outside the R&D and design centers and for the conduct of the activities, carried out within the Zone borders under the Technology Development Zones Law dated 26/6/2001 and numbered 4691, also outside the Zone, limited for a period of 4 months as of 11/3/2020. The Minister of Industry and Technology may extend this period up to 3 months following its expiration. In case the permission is granted; the reductions, exceptions, supports and incentives included in the scope of the Law numbered 5746 and the Law numbered 4691 shall continue to be benefited, provided that the Ministry of Industry and Technology is informed.

h) The designation process, referred to in the subparagraph (a) of the second paragraph contained in the article 30 of the Law dated 25/6/2001 and numbered 4688 on Public Servants’ Trade Unions and Collective Agreements, shall be carried out by taking 15 July 2020 as basis for 2020 and shall be sent to the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services until 31 July 2020 at the latest. Furthermore, the designation to be carried out pursuant to the subparagraph (b) of the same paragraph shall be performed by taking 15 July 2020 as basis and shall be published in the Official Gazette in the first week of September. The President of the Republic is authorized to extend these periods up to 15 May 2021.

ı) The periods related to strike and lock-out, settlement of collective labor disputes, conclusion of collective labor agreements and grant of the authorization designations included in the scope of the Trade Unions and Collective Labor Agreement Law dated 18/10/2012 and numbered 6356 have been extended for a period of three months as of the effective date of this article. The President of the Republic is authorized to extend the three months’ period referred to in this subclause, up to three months following its expiration.

i) The tenders for grant of certificates of occupancy for and renting out the locations that are under the ownership or possession of the State and transactions pertaining to sales, renting out or barter of, construction of buildings in return for flat or land and establishment of limited real rights on the real properties in the private ownership of the Treasury may be carried out in electronic environment until 31/7/2020 by using the technical infrastructure belonging to the affiliated and related institutions of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and their participations, in consideration of service fee. This period may be extended up to 3 months by the Minister of Environment and Urbanization. The principles and procedures regarding these tenders shall be determined by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization.

Article – 3 Travel agencies operating license

The third paragraph of the article 4 contained in the Law dated 14/9/1972 and numbered 1618 on Travel Agencies and the Association of Travel Agencies is hereby amended as follows:

“Operating licenses will be issued to legal entities provided that they are exclusive to a single business entity. An operating license may be transferred to another legal entity independently of the title of the agency, provided that the relevant permission is obtained from the Ministry; and the transfer shall take effect on the date that the transfer is registered with the Ministry’s registry. Any other travel agencies shall not, within ten years, be allowed to use the title of the agency contained in the operating license transferred or another title that would cause confusion therewith. The legal entity that has transferred its operating license shall not be re-granted an operating license within three years. The principles and procedures regarding the transfer of the license shall be determined by the Ministry.”

Article – 4 Higher education health sciences budget support

The following additional article is hereby added into the Higher Education Law dated 4/11/1981 and numbered 2547:

“ADDITIONAL ARTICLE 45 – Among the revolving fund operation units of the medical faculties and dentistry faculties of the State-owned universities and the health practice and research center units affiliated therewith and the institutes that provide health services as being affiliated with their rectorates, funds may be transferred from the budget of the Ministry of Treasury and Finance to those whose debt coverage percentages fall below the rate to be determined by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance.

The principles and procedures pertaining to the first paragraph shall be determined by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance after having received the opinions of the Strategy and Budget Directorate, and the transactions and processes pertaining to the expenditures that will be made shall be audited by audit staffs of the Ministry of Treasury and Finance. In the audits, an assessment shall thoroughly be carried out on whether or not the amounts transferred have been spent suitably for their purposes and within the framework of the principles determined.”

Article – 5 Social services

The following temporary article is hereby added into the Social Services Law dated 24/5/1983 and numbered 2828:

“TEMPORARY ARTICLE 18 – On the ground of compelling reason originating from the new corona virus (Covid-19) outbreak:

a) The income criterion and severe disability conditions referred to in the first paragraph of the additional article 7 for provision of care services at care centers,

b) The income criterion condition referred to in the first paragraph of the additional article 10 for provision of care services through service procurement

shall not be sought for a period of three months as of the effective date of this article. The President of the Republic is authorized to extend this period up to one year.”

Article – 6 Unemployment insurance

After the wording “applications”, the wording “with the exception of conformity assessments” is hereby added into the last sentence of the second paragraph contained in the temporary article 23 of the Unemployment Insurance Law dated 25/8/1999 and numbered 4447.

Article – 7 Unemployment insurance and unpaid leave

The following temporary article is hereby added into the Law numbered 4447:

“TEMPORARY ARTICLE 24 – The employees who are unable to benefit from the short-time working allowance and are granted unpaid leave by their employers as per the temporary article 10 of the Code numbered 4857 though their employment contracts are in force on the effective date of this article and the employees who are unable to benefit from the short-time working allowance as per the other provisions of this Law and whose employment contracts are terminated within the scope of the article 51 after 15/3/2020 shall be provided cash wage support through the Fund in the amount of 39.24 Turkish Liras on a daily basis for the period of time corresponding to the period that they become unemployed or take unpaid leave within this period of time, provided that the period referred to in the temporary article 10 of the Code numbered 4857, during which termination shall not be made, is not exceeded and that those employees do not receive old age pension from any social security institution. With the exception of stamp tax, no deductions shall be made from the payments made.

In case it is found that employer employs on a de facto basis the employee who benefits from the cash wage support as the employee takes unpaid leave within the scope of the first paragraph, the provincial directorates of the labor and employment agency shall impose administrative fine on the employer in the amount of the monthly gross minimum wage determined by the article 39 of the Code numbered 4857 on the date that the action has been committed, which administrative fine shall be imposed separately for each employee who has been employed in this way and for each month that the employee has been employed in this way; and the cash wage support paid shall be collected from the employer along with its legal interest that will be charged as from the payment date.

Among those who benefit from the cash wage support under this article, the ones who are not included in the scope of general health insured or dependent of general health insured as per the Law numbered 5510 shall be deemed to be general health insured under the subparagraph (g) of the first paragraph contained in the article 60 of the same Law, and their premiums pertaining to the general health insurance shall be covered through the Fund.

The Ministry is authorized to determine the payment principles and procedures regarding the cash wage support and to remove any hesitations that might arise in relation to the implementation of this article.”

Article – 8 Short-time working allowance

The following temporary article is hereby added into the Law numbered 4447:

“TEMPORARY ARTICLE 25 – For the short-time working applications, on the ground of compelling reason, submitted by the employers due to the new corona virus (Covid-19), the short-time working allowance payment shall be made in line with the employers’ statements without waiting for the completion of the conformity assessment. The payments, made in excess and improperly since the employer has submitted incorrect information and documents, shall be collected from the employer along with their legal interests.”

Article – 9 Unpaid leave

The following temporary article is hereby added into the Labor Code dated 22/5/2003 and numbered 4857:

“TEMPORARY ARTICLE 10 – Any employment or service contracts, regardless of whether they are included in the scope of this Code, shall not be terminated by the employer for a period of three months as of the effective date of this article for any reasons other than the cases in violation of the moral and good faith rules referred to in the article 25/1-(II) and other than similar reasons.

The employer may grant the employee an entirely or a partly unpaid leave provided that its duration shall not exceed three months’ period as of the effective date of this article. The grant of unpaid leave within the scope of this article shall not confer on the employee the right to terminate the contract by resting on justifiable reason.

The employer or employer’s representative, who has terminated the employment contract in violation of the provisions contained in this article, shall be punished with administrative fine for each employee whose employment contract has been terminated, which administrative fine shall be in the amount of the monthly gross minimum wage on the date that the action has been committed.

The President of the Republic is authorized to extend up to six months the three months’ periods referred to in the first and second paragraphs.”

Article – 10 Force majeure under the Public Financial Management and Control Law

The following additional article is hereby added into the Public Financial Management and Control Law dated 10/12/2003 and numbered 5018:

“Force majeure

ADDITIONAL ARTICLE 7 – In cases of force majeure such as natural disasters e.g. earthquake, fire, flood, or epidemic disease or failure of the Ministry of Treasure and Finance information systems for any reason, the Ministry of Treasury and Finance shall determine the methods for the creation, recording, transmission, preservation and submission of data, information and documents.

In cases of force majeure, the sanctions e.g. interest for delay, late fee and penalty shall not be imposed on the persons concerned due to a delay that might occur in the transactions conducted through the Ministry of Treasury and Finance information systems.”

Article – 11 Medical devices and materials seized

The following temporary article is hereby added into the Anti-Smuggling Law dated 21/3/2007 and numbered 5607:

“TEMPORARY ARTICLE 13 – (1) In case it is not found necessary to keep as evidence the medical devices and materials, test materials, plasma, ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, glycerol, masks, gloves, overalls, shoe covers, cologne, disinfectant, disinfection devices, respirator, intensive care equipment, medicine, vaccine, first aid tools and devices and materials used in their production, which are directly related to the fight against the infectious, epidemic disease and have been seized under this Law until 30/9/2020; the seizing administration or the relevant public institution may request at the investigation phase the judge or at the prosecution phase the court for the allocation thereof, after the samples are taken adequately or if this is not possible, after all kinds of distinctive characteristics thereof are identified. It is possible to object to the decisions rendered upon request. In case, at the end of the investigation or the prosecution, it is decreed to return the goods approved to be allocated by the judge or the court, the amount remaining after the customs duties and the fines, if any, are reserved from the fair value of the goods shall be paid to the owner of the goods by the administration in favor of which the goods are allocated.

(2) The President of the Republic is authorized to extend up to 3 months the period referred to in the first paragraph.”

Article – 12 Distribution of dividends and reserve funds

The following temporary article is hereby added into the Turkish Commercial Code dated 13/1/2011 and numbered 6102:

“TEMPORARY ARTICLE 13 – (1) In stock corporations, until 30/9/2020, it may be resolved to distribute only maximum twenty-five percent of the net profit for the period 2019, and the prior years’ profits and the free reserves shall not constitute the subject of the distribution, the general assembly shall not grant the board of directors the authorization to distribute advance dividends. The provision of this paragraph shall not apply to the entities which hold directly or indirectly more than fifty percent of the capital of the funds, in which more than fifty percent of the capital belongs to the public, or of the capital of the State, provincial special administrations, municipalities, villages and other public legal entities. The President of the Republic is authorized to shorten or to extend for three months the period specified in this paragraph.

(2) If the resolution for distribution of dividends pertaining to the 2019 accounting period has been taken by the general assembly, however, the payment has not been made to the shareholders yet or a partial payment has been made to the shareholders; the payments pertaining to the portion exceeding twenty-five percent of the net profit for the period 2019 shall be postponed by the end of the period specified in the first paragraph.

(3) The Ministry of Trade is, by receiving the opinions of the Ministry of Treasury and Finance, authorized to determine the principles and procedures regarding the implementation and the exceptions related to the stock corporations included in the scope of this article.”

Article – 13 Penalty provisions for regulation of retail trade

The following subparagraph is hereby added into the first paragraph of the article 18 contained in the Law dated 14/1/2015 and numbered 6585 on Regulation of Retail Trade, and the fourth paragraph of the same article is hereby amended as follows:

“ı) Those that act in violation of the first paragraph of the additional article 1 shall be punished with an administrative fine in the amount between ten thousand Turkish Liras and one hundred thousand Turkish Liras, and those that act in violation of the second paragraph thereof shall be punished with an administrative fine in the amount between fifty thousand Turkish Liras and five hundred thousand Turkish Liras; ”

“(4) The authority to enforce the administrative fines prescribed by the subparagraph (ı) of the first paragraph in this article lies with the Unfair Price Evaluation Board, and the authority to enforce the other administrative fines prescribed by this article lies with the Ministry. The Ministry’s authority to enforce administrative fines may be delegated to the provincial units.”

Article – 14 Exorbitant price increase, stockpiling, and Unfair Price Evaluation Board

The following additional article is hereby added into the Law numbered 6585:

“Exorbitant price increase, stockpiling, and Unfair Price Evaluation Board

ADDITIONAL ARTICLE 1 – (1) No exorbitant increase shall be applied to the sales price of a product or service by manufacturers, suppliers and retail businesses.

(2) Manufacturers, suppliers and retail businesses shall not carry out any activities that prevent consumers from accessing the goods through the activities which create shortage in the market, disrupt the market balance and free competition.

(3) An Unfair Price Evaluation Board shall be constituted in order to make arrangements for any exorbitant price increase and stockpiling practices on the part of manufacturers, suppliers and retail businesses and to take all kinds of measures and impose administrative fines by performing audits and inspections when necessary. The Board to be chaired by the General Director for Domestic Trade shall be composed of thirteen members as:

a) The General Director for Consumer Protection and Market Surveillance,

b) The General Director for Craftsmen, Artisans and Cooperatives,

c) One General Director appointed by the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Treasury and Finance, the Ministry of Industry and Technology and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (i.e. one General Director from each),

ç) The relevant Vice General Director for Domestic Trade,

d) One member appointed by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey and the Confederation of Turkish Tradesmen and Craftsmen (i.e. one member from each), and

e) One member representing the manufacturer and consumer organizations and the retail sector (i.e. one member from each).

(4) In case of need, upon the Chairperson’s call, the Board shall meet by the attendance of at least seven members, including the Chairperson, and take its resolutions by absolute majority of the meeting participants. In case of equality of votes, the side in favor of which the Chairperson has voted shall be deemed to have constituted the majority. The Board’s resolutions shall be implemented by the Ministry.

(5) The Board’s secretariat services shall be fulfilled by the General Directorate of Domestic Trade.

(6) The formation, duties of, working principles and procedures regarding and secretariat services for the Board as well as any other matters related to Board shall be determined by a regulation.”

Article – 15 Wealth Fund Management Co. – Audit

Contained in the last sentence of the second paragraph of the article 6 of the Law dated 19/8/2016 and numbered 6741 on Incorporation of the Turkish Wealth Fund Management Company and Making Amendments to Certain Laws, the word “June” is hereby amended as “August”.

Article – 16 Wealth Fund Management Co. – Exemptions and Exceptions

The following sentences are hereby added into the fifth paragraph of the article 8 of the Law numbered 6741, after the first sentence thereof:

“In the Turkish Wealth Fund’s, the Company’s, the sub-funds’ transactions and in the transactions pertaining to the companies incorporated by the Company, which transactions would ensure their control over other companies single-handedly or together with third parties, the articles 23-27 of the Law numbered 6362 and the secondary legislation entered into force under this Law shall not, limited to these transactions, apply to the parties to the transactions, their direct or indirect shareholders, their affiliates, their subsidiaries and the companies over which the control is ensured. The article 202 of the Turkish Commercial Code dated 13/1/2011 and numbered 6102 shall not apply to the Turkish Wealth Fund, the Company, the sub-funds, the other companies incorporated by the Company, the companies over which direct or indirect dominance is established in favor of those, single-handedly or together with third parties, and limited to the transactions regarding establishment of this dominance, the parties to these transactions, their direct or indirect shareholders, their subsidiaries and their affiliates.”

Article – 17 Entry into force

ARTICLE 17 – (1) Of this Law:

a) The subparagraphs (ç), (d), (e) and (ğ) of the first paragraph contained in the article 2 shall enter into force on the date of publication, to be effective as from 10/3/2020,

b) The article 8 shall enter into force on the date of publication, to apply as from 29/2/2020,

c) The other articles shall enter into force on the date of publication.

Article – 18 Execution

ARTICLE 18 – (1) The provisions of this Law shall be executed by the President of the Republic.

 

Reference:

[1] For the text of the Law, please refer to: https://www.resmigazete.gov.tr/eskiler/2020/04/20200417-2.htm


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