• RTUK’s recent announcement on volume levels

The Radio and Television Supreme Council (“RTUK”) published on 2 October 2021 its announcement regarding change in volume levels when switching to commercial communication broadcasts, such as commercials, from other programs. In this announcement, RTUK stated that commercial communication broadcasts must be at the same volume level as other broadcasts.

News October 2021

RTUK stated primarily that it regularly monitors the Digital Storage Archive and Analysis System (SKAAS), assessing whether the volume levels of commercial communication broadcasts and other broadcasts are the same. As conclusion, RTUK identified that certain media service providers increase their volume levels when they switch to commercial communication broadcasts.

According to this conclusion, RTUK published an announcement on volume levels of commercial communication broadcasts on 2 October 2021. In this announcement RTUK stated that commercial communication broadcasts should be at the same volume level as other broadcasts.

According to Article 9(8) of Law No. 6112 on the Establishment and Broadcasting Services of Radio and Televisions, the volume level of commercial communication broadcasts must be the same with the other broadcasting parts. The same obligation is also set out in the Directive on the Volume Levels in Radio and Television Broadcasting.

In light of the relevant regulations, RTUK stated that media service providers must take necessary measures to ensure that commercial communication broadcasts and other broadcasts are at the same volume level. Otherwise, legal proceedings may be initiated against relevant media service providers.

  • Constitutional Court Emphasizes That Turkish Administrative Judiciary Cannot Conduct A Review Of Expediency

The Constitutional Court made important determinations in its decision numbered 2016/144-2020/75 dated 10 December 2020, published in the Official Gazette dated 01 October 2021, regarding the Council of State’s authority to review administrative disputes.

The applicant requested annulment of certain amendments made to the Council of State Law No. 2575 in 2016. These amendments include articles regarding the duties, jurisdiction and review powers of courts.

One of the articles subject to the annulment request was regarding the Council of State’s authority to review the disputes. The argument of the request was that the Council of State’s authority to review the disputes is limited to a review of legality and the Council of State does not have the authority to conduct a review of expediency. The annulment of the article in question was requested on the ground that the article directly interferes with individuals’ rights and the limitation of an appeal court’s authority of review does not conform to the principle of the rule of law.

The Constitutional Court rejected the request for the annulment of the article in question. In the reasoning for the rejection, it was emphasized that limiting the Council of State’s authority of review to only a review of legality is a principle that is valid for all courts within the administrative judiciary. Under both the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey and the Code of Administrative Procedure No. 2577, it is clearly stipulated that the authority of review is limited to a review of the legality of administrative acts and actions and cannot be exercised in the form of a review of expediency under any circumstances.

In the Decision, the Constitutional Court stated that a review of legality consists of examining whether administrative acts are in compliance with the law in terms of authority, form, grounds, subject and purpose. On the other hand, a review of expediency pertains to a review that eliminates the discretion of the administration, and such a review is not possible.

However, the limit of the prohibition of review of expediency is an issue that should be carefully evaluated in each case. This is because such prohibition does not prevent the courts from reviewing whether the administration used its discretionary powers in compliance with the law.

  • Amendments To Land Registry Transactions

The Law Amending the Enforcement and Bankruptcy Law and Certain Laws No. 7327 that was published in the Official Gazette dated 19 June 2021 and numbered 31516 made certain amendments to the Property Tax Law No. 1319.

According to these amendments, real properties with an outstanding property tax debt may not be subject to sales and land registries will now inquire about the property tax value from the electronic system.

The General Directorate of the Land Registry and Cadastre issued the circular numbered 2021/7 on 11 October 2021, which provides principles for the implementation of such amendments.

Accordingly:

  • Municipalities will share the property tax value of real properties with directorates of the land registry via the electronic system.
  • Real properties with an outstanding property tax debt may not be subject to sales save for situations concerning inheritance, court decisions, compulsory execution, expropriation, or other exceptional cases.
  • Directorates of the land registry that carry out transactions in relation to real properties that are outside of their jurisdiction must request authorization from the competent directorates of the land registry and the property tax value of such real properties will be shared by the competent directorates via the electronic system. However, authorization requests for real properties with outstanding property tax debt will be rejected.
  • Directorates of the land registry will notify the municipalities of any sales transactions that take place while buyers will refrain from making any further property tax notifications to the relevant municipality.
  • The municipalities must install the electronic system for property tax values and outstanding tax debt before 1 January 2023. Notifications will continue to be made to the directorates of the land registry by sellers and buyers until such date.
News October 2021