Browse topics

  • Governing law
    Name Law or Code?
    The Decree on National Lottery w. no 320 Law
    Regulation of the Turkish General Directorate of National Lottery on Lotteries and Draws with Non-Cash Prizes Law
    Consumer Protection Law Law
    Regulation on Commercial Advertisement and Unfair Commercial Practices Law

    Last modified 16 Jan 2019

  • Extra-territoriality

    Yes, the rules for prize promotions also apply to prize promotions organized by foreign entities located outside Turkey but which target participants from within Turkey. In practice, the foreign entity organizer usually works alongside a local agency or business associate in Turkey to facilitate its application to the General Directorate of the National Lottery ("GDNL").

    Last modified 16 Jan 2019

  • Skills competitions

    Yes, skill based games are generally permissible, but this is subject to approval from the GDNL. Having said that, approval is not required if the contest fulfils any of the following conditions:

    • every participant who meets a previously specified criteria is awarded a prize; or

    • no entrance fee is charged and the contest does not promote or sell a particular good or service; or

    • either (i) no random draw occurs, and the winners are selected according to previously specified rules, or (ii) the winners are selected by means of a draw held in the presence of all the participants in the contest.

    Last modified 16 Jan 2019

  • Prize draws

    Yes, chance-based promotions are permissible, but this area is heavily regulated by the GDNL. Please note that chance-based games where cash is given as a prize can only be organized by the GDNL. On the other hand, chance-based games where non-cash prizes are awarded can be organized provided permission from the GDNL is first obtained. As an exception, if the value of a non-cash prize awarded does not exceed a specified limit (TRY 115,2 - approx. US$19, for the year 2019), the approval of the GDNL is not required before organizing the prize promotion.

    Last modified 16 Jan 2019

  • Selection of winners

    The terms and conditions of the promotion must be made available to the public, and the process through which the winners shall be determined needs to be clearly set out, including the dates and place where the selection of the winner(s) will take place.

    With respect to prize draws, the process of selecting winners must be open to the general public to observe, and the winner must be selected in the presence of a Turkish Notary Public. After the selection, the winners and the deadline for the application to receive the prize must be announced and notified to the winners. The prize must be delivered to the winners at the date announced previously, and this period cannot be more than one year after the beginning of the promotion.

    Last modified 16 Jan 2019

  • Judges

    There are no specific requirements in relation to skill competitions.

    Last modified 16 Jan 2019

  • Prizes

    Under Turkish Law, the GDNL alone has the authority to organize lotteries with prize money. Therefore, in Turkey, promoters are not allowed to organize lotteries where the prize is money or any other convertible currency. There are no other specific restrictions on the prizes awarded.  However, the prize given should not violate other legislative provisions or public orders (i.e. weapons, tobacco products, etc. cannot be given as non-cash prizes).

    Last modified 16 Jan 2019

  • Registration requirements and fees

    Registration Requirements

    Pursuant to the Regulation of the Turkish General Directorate of National Lottery on Lotteries and Draws with Non-Cash Prizes, promoters are required to obtain the approval of the GDNL before organizing a lottery, competition or prize promotion with a non-cash prize. Having said that, there are certain exceptions where approval is not required (certain exceptions are mentioned in the sections on Skills Competitions and Prize Draws).

    Fees/Taxes payable

    The organizer must pay 3% of the total value of prizes on offer (+18% VAT) to the GDNL as a registration fee. The registration fee cannot be less than TRY 6,000 (approx. US$993) (+18% VAT). Further, the organizer must deposit an amount that corresponds to more than 10% of the total market value of the promised prizes with the GDNL. This deposit requirement is reduced by 50% if the commencement date of the promotion is more than six months before the date for final delivery of the prizes.

    In terms of taxes, the winner is responsible for all tax liability associated with the prize. On the other hand, prize draw organizers must pay an inheritance and gift tax of 10% of the total value of prizes on offer. Organizers of contests, sweepstakes and competitions are responsible for submitting the declaration by the evening of the 20th day of the month that follows the month when the contest, sweepstake or competition was held. Then the organizer can receive the tax amount from the winner.

    Last modified 16 Jan 2019

  • Other local requirements

    According to an announcement of the GDNL, prize promotions must be declared/ announced through the official website of the entity running the promotion. In practice, the Directorate does not approve a draw if it is only announced through social media accounts.

    Last modified 16 Jan 2019

  • Timing

    The organizer is required to apply to the GDNL at least 15 days before the prize promotion event. The GDNL generally reviews and responds to the application within 5 business days of receiving the application.

    Last modified 16 Jan 2019

  • Translations

    If the promotion targets Turkish citizens, the terms and conditions must be prepared in Turkish and understandable for the Turkish participants in order for the contest/draw to be in compliance with Turkish Consumer Protection Law.

    Last modified 16 Jan 2019

  • Penalties for non-compliance

    According to the Decree on National Lottery w. no 320, if a prize promotion is not in compliance with the relevant rules, an imprisonment between 2 months to 2 years and a monetary fine from TRY 100,000 to TRY 10,000,000 (approx. US$16,500 - 1,655,000) is legally possible. Additionally, such non-compliant activity may be evaluated in the scope of Consumer Protection Law, and may be deemed to be a misleading activity and/or unfair commercial activity. In this case, the relevant authority may apply an administrative fine up to TRY 341,921 (approx. US$56,600).

    Furthermore, the GDNL may prohibit the organizer from arranging a prize promotion for two years.

    Last modified 16 Jan 2019

  • Restrictiveness of regulations

    In Turkey, prize promotion activities are allowed as long as the prize is not money or any other convertible currency. The main focus is on providing consumers with clear and explicit information on the rules of the promotion and on prohibiting misleading marketing.

    The skill-based prize promotions are generally subject to general legal rules which are not restrictive. For prize draws, there is a requirement to obtain an approval, and there are also some quite specific requirements as to what must be included in terms and conditions.

    Last modified 16 Jan 2019

  • Regularity of sanctions

    Prison sentences are rarely imposed, but fines and prohibition from arranging a prize promotion for two years can be applied.

    Last modified 16 Jan 2019

  • Key contacts
    Burak Ozdagistanli
    Burak Ozdagistanli
    Partner Ozdagistanli Ekici Attorney Partnership [email protected] T +90 216 663 60 11
    Hatice Ekici Tağa
    Hatice Ekici Tağa
    Partner Ozdagistanli Ekici Attorney Partnership [email protected] T +90 216 663 60 18

Governing law

What are the main applicable governing laws or codes for prize promotions?

Turkey

Turkey

Name Law or Code?
The Decree on National Lottery w. no 320 Law
Regulation of the Turkish General Directorate of National Lottery on Lotteries and Draws with Non-Cash Prizes Law
Consumer Protection Law Law
Regulation on Commercial Advertisement and Unfair Commercial Practices Law