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Europe Guide

TMT — Turkey

Overview

TURKEY: An Introduction to Turkey Contributed by ELIG Attorneys at Law

Turkey closed the year 2016, with more than 11 million fixed line and 73 million mobile users with a penetration rate of 93.5%. M2M subscribers reached to 3.2 million at the end of 2016, while it was 2.4 million in the third quarter of 2015. As of 2017, eight out of ten households in Turkey have internet connection. Turkish Statistical Institute’s latest 2016 report states that 90% of Turkish internet subscribers use internet for participating social media.

Internet content restrictions were on the rise in Turkey. Turkey is again announced as the champion of internet content removal requests by transparency reports of the global internet companies. Accordingly, to intervene in freedom of speech and information, and to impose excessive administrative fines based on vague grounds, which may also make the new and current market players hesitate to invest in the Turkish jurisdiction.

On the other hand, 2016 and 2017 were the years for regulating data protection measures in Turkey. Recently, Turkey has certainly had a busy agenda for adopting data protection measures.

The Law on Protection of Personal Data (“DP Law”) which was off the shelf since 2003 came into force on April 2016, followed by draft (but not yet enacted) secondary legislations and guidelines prepared in 2017.

DP Law is based on EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) but it still differs from the EU data protection regime at certain points. Moreover, the DP Law may need to be amended following the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation for full harmonization, since the DP Law is prepared based on EU Data Protection Directive. DP Law aims to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people with respect to the processing of personal data particularly on privacy of private life and to regulate the procedures and principles along with obligations to be followed by the real persons and legal entities which are processing personal data. DP Law is applicable to real persons whose data is processed and real persons or legal entities, which process personal data.

As the first framework legal instrument on the protection of personal data in Turkey, the new Data Protection Law introduces various provisions on processing and protection of personal data. DP Law sets out the principles of personal data processing and brings out new definitions to substantial terms, such as “explicit consent” which is stated as a condition of data processing. DP Law also sets forth the conditions of processing of personal data, which are principally obtaining data subject’s explicit consent and being required by law. Obligations on data controllers are imposed in terms of information requirements and providing data safety, while the Law is also stipulating administrative fines in case of breach of certain provisions of the relevant legislation. In line with the DP law, Personal Data Protection Authority is established and currently they are working on secondary legislations.

In the light of the foregoing, new data protection measures and harmonization with the EU data protection regime are expected to bring new opportunities and introduce a regulated area for the foreign investors.

E-Commerce Law and two secondary legislations based on the foregoing law were introduced in Turkey in 2015. Those updates changed the whole e-commerce in Turkey, including but not limited to the commercial electronic messages. E-commerce Law (i.e. Law on Regulation of Electronic Commerce) and two secondary regulations (i.e. (i) the Regulation on Commercial Communication and Commercial Electronic Communications and (ii) the Regulation on Service Providers and Intermediary Service Providers in Electronic Commerce), along with the Communiqué on E-Commerce Information Systems and Notification Obligations are enacted consecutively in 2016 and 2017, and they introduced new processes for e-commerce businesses in Turkey.

The telecoms sector in Turkey welcomed the introduction of fourth generation telecommunications services (more specifically 4,5G) in Turkey. 4,5G services started to be provided as of April 1, 2016, which aims to match the improvement in technology with the increasing mobile internet traffic. The biggest winner of the auction was Turkcell, winning 8 of the 18 packages sold and 172 MHz of spectrum for 1.62 billion across all five available bands. Vodafone acquired 5 of the 18 packages and 82.8 MHz of spectrum for 778 million Euros across all bands except 2100 MHz. Avea (recently merged under Turk Telekom) took 5 of the 18 packages and 110 MHz of spectrum for 955 million Euros. Considering the legal obligations set under the auction specifications, mobile operators will need to use IMT-Advanced technologies (International Mobile Telecommunications-Advanced requirements which are issued by the ITU-R of the International Telecommunication Union) and the operators would need to extend coverage range to 95 percent of Turkey’s population in the next eight years. Currently the Information and Communications Technologies Authority is working on regulation and technical aspects of 5G services.

The Information and Communications Technologies Authority in Turkey declared that there are 686 operators providing services in the telecommunications sector with 1088 authorizations as of the last quarter of 2016. The capacity of fibre infrastructure of Turkey increased 10%. Recently a major operator in Turkey, Turk Telekom, has merged into one entity by merging with Avea (mobile phone operator) and TTNET (ISP), basically for convergence of the services provided to the consumers.

Finally, it is clear that Turkey is welcoming new data protection measures and practices, while at the same time offering a great potential for user penetration and an increasing thirst for technology consumption.

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BTS & Partners (Beceni - Türkekul - Sevim Attorney Partnership) - TMT

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Yasin Beceni, Tuğrul Sevim and Selin Beceni

What the team is known for Market-leading firm, highly specialised in all aspects of TMT. Provides legal strategy and regulatory advice in a range of areas, including e-commerce, software, telecoms and data protection. Active in both Turkish and multi-jurisdictional matters. Clients include major international media, technology and software companies. Mercedes-Benz is one of several new clients for the firm.

Strengths One client praises the high level of attention provided by the firm, saying: "The team have a good understanding of our business, they are commercially oriented and have good expertise in the areas of law we focus on."

Clients also highlight the breadth of the team's expertise, saying: "The lawyers are very experienced in IT, telecommunications and data protection."

Work highlights Advised UK-based Perform Group on its TRY121.36 million acquisition of a 49% stake in Turkish technology company Mackolik.

Assisted Turkcell with regulatory compliance matters and with communication with regulatory authorities.

Significant clients Facebook, Microsoft, eBay, PayPal, Bayer.

Notable practitioners

Yasin Beceni is widely praised by sources for his prominence in the IT sector. He advises on various commercial transactions as well as on contentious matters. One client praises him as someone who is "very accomplished, follows up on any matters I assign to him and gives personal reports for every project we are involved in." He assisted Arçelik with the initiation of a data protection compliance project that spans multiple jurisdictions.

Tuğrul Sevim provides specialist advice on IT and telecommunications contracts. He represents clients in litigation as well as assisting businesses with IP portfolios and in the negotiations of IP contracts. He advised MasterCard on its licence application procedure to be able to operate commercially in Turkey.

Department profile by BTS & Partners (Beceni - Türkekul - Sevim Attorney Partnership)

Our team has been providing legal services to leading local and international companies within all branches of technology, media and telecommunication law. With our dedicated and profound lawyers, we handle both routine and complex local and multidisciplinary cases related to technology, media and telecommunication sector.

With a remarkable national and international reputation in the industry, our services include data protection, cloud computing, software products and services, payment systems, the internet and online content regulation, advertisement, pharmaceutical technology, e-commerce, e-business, emerging and regulatory technologies. Some of our clients with which we provide service are Microsoft, Facebook, Instagram, PayPal, eBay, Turkcell, Netflix Borusan Holding, Eczacıbasi Holding, Daimler, Mastercard, Yapı Kredi Bank and British American Tobacco.

We run highly comprehensive personal data protection analysis and compliance projects with many prominent companies and assist our clients with any issues including drafting and negotiating agreements, preparing legal analysis and benchmarks, developing projects and giving tailored advice concerning online content regulation, advertisement and e-commerce. In addition these services, we have a solid practice in litigation regarding pharmaceutical technology. Legal alerts and briefings regarding the new legal and industry-related developments are regularly made by our team on a daily basis.

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ELIG Attorneys at Law - TMT

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Gönenç Gürkaynak and İlay Yılmaz

What the team is known for Widely respected for representing leading international technology and telecoms companies in high-end Turkish matters. Team members' expertise spans regulatory, data protection and compliance matters, with a proven track record in social media and online issues. Noted recent activity in privacy matters and e-commerce. Also assists clients with trade mark or copyright infringement cases and freedom of speech issues.

Strengths One interviewee extols the firm's proficiency in the sector, saying: "They have deep knowledge of our analysis and policies. They are flexible to the extent of changing their working style to align with our needs."

Clients additionally highlight the team's international experience, saying: "They are knowledgeable in European law, which makes it easier for them to point out similarities and differences between Turkey and the EU."

Work highlights Represented Automattic in litigation seeking to revoke the ban of access to the WordPress website in Turkey.

Advised L’Oréal on its e-commerce activities in Turkey, including its online agreements, electronic communications and the legal structure of its website.

Significant clients Google, YouTube, Twitter, Huawei, BlaBlaCar.

Notable practitioners

Clients describe Gönenç Gürkaynak as "understanding, knowledgeable and conscious of the client's needs," adding that "he is also a great communicator and is thoughtful, both in understanding the urgency of requests and in having flexible schedules." His broad practice encompasses IT, telecoms and media matters. He also represents domestic and international companies in disputes.

Department profile by ELIG Attorneys at Law

Delivering tailor made strategies for clients who operate in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors requires ELIG’s team of lawyers to be at the cutting-edge of technology, with a thorough understanding of existing and emerging mediums while also demonstrating a comprehensive knowledge of legal practice. ELIG is highly committed to meeting the needs of our domestic and international clients by combining our expertise in legal practice and our specialization in unique practice areas such as online and mobile payment services, software development, hardware regulations, television and radio broadcasting, and regulatory compliance for telecommunication operators.

ELIG’s expertise in the data protection and privacy law area is strengthened by our team’s sound technological knowledge. We closely follow all international and domestic technological developments. We provide legal assistance to our clients with product launches and new technology projects. ELIG’s expertise on data protection and data security related matters for cloud technologies and Internet of Things, both from a customer and provider perspective, is unrivalled. 

We are directly involved in legislative efforts in the data protection and privacy area due to our extensive knowledge on our European Union legislation. 

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Gün + Partners - TMT

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Uğur Aktekin and Hande Hançer Çelik
- 3 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well regarded for its TMT experience and boasting a list of numerous major multinational clients operating in Turkey. Covers market-leading contentious, advisory and transactional cases for prominent technology giants and telecoms networks, alongside complex work for companies from the pharmaceutical and media sectors. Expertise includes IT outsourcing agreements and data protection, with advice on IP issues bolstered by a leading practice in the area.

Strengths One source appreciates that the group is "very quick and responsive to our questions."

Sources also remark on the firm's proven track record in this practice area, saying: "Gün have a great legacy for TMT issues."

Notable practitioners

Uğur Aktekin and Hande Hançer Çelik are key contacts for this team.

Department profile by Gün + Partners

We provide advisory, transactional and dispute resolution services on in TMT sectors involving all aspects of Turkish telecommunication and internet law, private broadcasting legislation, electronic communication services and infrastructure, wireless equipment rules and regulations and the structuring of telecommunication projects.

We also provide data protection advice, including compliance with data protection legislation, inter-company data transfers and consolidation agreements, transfer of data to third parties or abroad, website privacy policies and terms of use under Turkish law.

We assist clients on regulations relating to advertisements, promotional campaigns, product labelling and packaging, including advertisement clearances, sweepstakes, competition and prize related promotional campaigns, product liability and warranty.

We have particular expertise in corporate deals and transactions in the TMT sector and represent multinational investors in Turkey including advising on direct establishment, M&A and corporate advisory services.

We represent clients before regulatory bodies including the Information Technologies and Communication Authority, Radio and Television Supreme Council, the Turkish Radio and Television Institution, the Advertisement Board, Advertisements Self Auditing Committee, and the National Lottery Administration.
Our dispute resolution services in the TMT sector include representing clients before the civil and
administrative courts.

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We actively contribute to the promotion of business opportunities, inward and outward direct investments and to initiatives of private and government organisations for the development of Turkey’s international economic relationships with her major trading partners.

We have established close collaboration with respected lawyers and law firms in a number of major economic centres including in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Nordic states, Russia and the CIS countries, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the UAE, the UK and the USA.

We provide Turkish law services to clients worldwide and assist Turkish clients in their international business operations through our network of foreign lawyers and law firms.

To assist our clients we have developed several desks, focusing on business culture and legal environment and how to do business in each country or region. These desks employ native language speaking lawyers and are supported by short term secondments from leading international law firms.

France Desk : [email protected] 

Germany Desk : [email protected] 

Japan Desk : [email protected] 

Russia and CIS Desk : [email protected]




Esin Attorney Partnership, a Member Firm of Baker McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein - TMT

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Hakkı Can Yıldız
- 6 qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly advises high-profile clients within the financial, energy and IT sectors on technology matters. Assists with data protection, compliance and contractual matters as well as advising on new regulatory areas such as e-payments. Benefits from its association with the broader Baker McKenzie international network.

Strengths The team is praised for its customer-oriented approach, saying: "The firm devotes a lot of time to us, they go into detail so the co-operation gets better. They are not afraid to give opinions about the risks and how to minimise them."

Another client is impressed by the team's know-how, saying: "Their work shows experience and extensive knowledge."

Work highlights Advised e-commerce platform n11.com on data privacy, advertising and commercial law.

Assisted Hepsiburada.com with e-commerce and consumer protection law issues.

Significant clients BAT, MasterCard.

Notable practitioners

Hakkı Can Yıldız heads the practice and advises domestic and international clients on data privacy, internet law and telecommunications. Clients describe him as "a diligent lawyer" who is "experienced in EU data protection regulations and GDPR."

Department profile by Esin Attorney Partnership, a Member Firm of Baker McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein

Department profile not yet provided by Esin Attorney Partnership, a Member Firm of Baker McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein. Please see their firm profile.

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Gokce Attorney Partnership - TMT

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Görkem Gökçe
- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strong focus on mid-market TMT-related M&A transactions. Noted experience in e-commerce and internet media sector cases, advising on related issues including consumer law, data protection and online provision of services. Also advises on media contracts and represents companies in disputes. V-Count is a new addition to the firm's client roster, which also includes international technology and telecoms companies.

Strengths The department is rated for its level of expertise, with a client saying: "They know what they are doing and I believe that they always work really well to refresh their knowledge about new regulations and legal issues."

One interviewee also highly appreciates the group's commitment, saying: "I believe their strength lies in their people and the dedication to their client. I always feel as if they were part of my own team rather than an external party helping us out."

Value for money Clients agree that the firm provides a good service which is cost-effective, saying: "The cost for the services provided is fairly and reasonably priced."

Work highlights Represented Panorama Technologies in a hosting agreement with Verifone, advising on drafting, negotiation and signing.

Assisted Morhipo with the implementation of a new payment system developed by MasterCard.

Significant clients Onedio, Getsy, Gram Games, Spotify, NBCUniversal.

Notable practitioners

Görkem Gökçe is a key contact for this practice area.

Department profile by Gokce Attorney Partnership

Department profile not yet provided by Gokce Attorney Partnership . Please see their firm profile.

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Güner Law Office - TMT

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Ece Güner and Ömer Erdoğan
- 2 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Broadly respected, internationally focused department, acting on corporate, commercial and regulatory matters related to TMT law. Expertise also covers related IP, administrative and employment issues in the sector. Impressive client roster includes major international companies, prominently from within the media and entertainment sectors. A+E Networks is a new client win for the department.

Strengths The team is described as being made up of "very high-quality experts" with a good commercial approach. "They understand the business side very well, offering legal solutions from a business perspective."

Clients also highlight the department's enthusiastic approach, saying: "They're quite willing and they offer top help. They're hardworking people who are responsive."

Work highlights Represented Twentieth Century Fox in recovery cases against Tiglon and its creditors.

Advised Disney on broadcasting, contractual and regulatory matters.

Significant clients HBO, Microsoft Mobile, AMC, Netflix.

Notable practitioners

Ece Güner and Ömer Erdoğan are primary contacts for this practice.

Department profile by Güner Law Office

Department profile not yet provided by Güner Law Office. Please see their firm profile.

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Moroğlu Arseven - TMT

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Burcu Tuzcu Ersin
- 6 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Experienced team which assists clients with a wide range of IT and telecoms issues, including a significant practice in advising start-ups and entrepreneurs. Supported by key strength in IP and corporate mandates. Knowledge includes software development, e-commerce, mobile services and hardware manufacturing. Possesses additional expertise in the creation, acquisition, transfer, use and protection of technology.

Strengths The firm's efficiency and pragmatic approach is remarked on by clients, who say: "They grasp the nature of our business and our needs quickly and the advice we received has combined the commercial and the legal in a very helpful way."

One client praises the department's advice, saying: "I find the firm very disciplined and systematic at all levels, which creates a high level of trust. I have never seen them miss any deadlines."

Work highlights Advised BIC Angel Investments on its investment in start-up e-commerce and mobile application companies.

Significant clients 212, Samsung, Nexum, Amazon, Twitter.

Notable practitioners

Burcu Tuzcu Ersin is a key contact for this practice area.

Department profile by Moroğlu Arseven

Department profile not yet provided by Moroğlu Arseven. Please see their firm profile.

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Overview

TURKEY: An Introduction to Turkey Contributed by ELIG Attorneys at Law

Turkey closed the year 2016, with more than 11 million fixed line and 73 million mobile users with a penetration rate of 93.5%. M2M subscribers reached to 3.2 million at the end of 2016, while it was 2.4 million in the third quarter of 2015. As of 2017, eight out of ten households in Turkey have internet connection. Turkish Statistical Institute’s latest 2016 report states that 90% of Turkish internet subscribers use internet for participating social media.

Internet content restrictions were on the rise in Turkey. Turkey is again announced as the champion of internet content removal requests by transparency reports of the global internet companies. Accordingly, to intervene in freedom of speech and information, and to impose excessive administrative fines based on vague grounds, which may also make the new and current market players hesitate to invest in the Turkish jurisdiction.

On the other hand, 2016 and 2017 were the years for regulating data protection measures in Turkey. Recently, Turkey has certainly had a busy agenda for adopting data protection measures.

The Law on Protection of Personal Data (“DP Law”) which was off the shelf since 2003 came into force on April 2016, followed by draft (but not yet enacted) secondary legislations and guidelines prepared in 2017.

DP Law is based on EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) but it still differs from the EU data protection regime at certain points. Moreover, the DP Law may need to be amended following the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation for full harmonization, since the DP Law is prepared based on EU Data Protection Directive. DP Law aims to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people with respect to the processing of personal data particularly on privacy of private life and to regulate the procedures and principles along with obligations to be followed by the real persons and legal entities which are processing personal data. DP Law is applicable to real persons whose data is processed and real persons or legal entities, which process personal data.

As the first framework legal instrument on the protection of personal data in Turkey, the new Data Protection Law introduces various provisions on processing and protection of personal data. DP Law sets out the principles of personal data processing and brings out new definitions to substantial terms, such as “explicit consent” which is stated as a condition of data processing. DP Law also sets forth the conditions of processing of personal data, which are principally obtaining data subject’s explicit consent and being required by law. Obligations on data controllers are imposed in terms of information requirements and providing data safety, while the Law is also stipulating administrative fines in case of breach of certain provisions of the relevant legislation. In line with the DP law, Personal Data Protection Authority is established and currently they are working on secondary legislations.

In the light of the foregoing, new data protection measures and harmonization with the EU data protection regime are expected to bring new opportunities and introduce a regulated area for the foreign investors.

E-Commerce Law and two secondary legislations based on the foregoing law were introduced in Turkey in 2015. Those updates changed the whole e-commerce in Turkey, including but not limited to the commercial electronic messages. E-commerce Law (i.e. Law on Regulation of Electronic Commerce) and two secondary regulations (i.e. (i) the Regulation on Commercial Communication and Commercial Electronic Communications and (ii) the Regulation on Service Providers and Intermediary Service Providers in Electronic Commerce), along with the Communiqué on E-Commerce Information Systems and Notification Obligations are enacted consecutively in 2016 and 2017, and they introduced new processes for e-commerce businesses in Turkey.

The telecoms sector in Turkey welcomed the introduction of fourth generation telecommunications services (more specifically 4,5G) in Turkey. 4,5G services started to be provided as of April 1, 2016, which aims to match the improvement in technology with the increasing mobile internet traffic. The biggest winner of the auction was Turkcell, winning 8 of the 18 packages sold and 172 MHz of spectrum for 1.62 billion across all five available bands. Vodafone acquired 5 of the 18 packages and 82.8 MHz of spectrum for 778 million Euros across all bands except 2100 MHz. Avea (recently merged under Turk Telekom) took 5 of the 18 packages and 110 MHz of spectrum for 955 million Euros. Considering the legal obligations set under the auction specifications, mobile operators will need to use IMT-Advanced technologies (International Mobile Telecommunications-Advanced requirements which are issued by the ITU-R of the International Telecommunication Union) and the operators would need to extend coverage range to 95 percent of Turkey’s population in the next eight years. Currently the Information and Communications Technologies Authority is working on regulation and technical aspects of 5G services.

The Information and Communications Technologies Authority in Turkey declared that there are 686 operators providing services in the telecommunications sector with 1088 authorizations as of the last quarter of 2016. The capacity of fibre infrastructure of Turkey increased 10%. Recently a major operator in Turkey, Turk Telekom, has merged into one entity by merging with Avea (mobile phone operator) and TTNET (ISP), basically for convergence of the services provided to the consumers.

Finally, it is clear that Turkey is welcoming new data protection measures and practices, while at the same time offering a great potential for user penetration and an increasing thirst for technology consumption.

READ MORE

READ LESS

Band 1

BTS & Partners (Beceni - Türkekul - Sevim Attorney Partnership)

From the Chambers Europe guide

Yasin Beceni is widely praised by sources for his prominence in the IT sector. He advises on various commercial transactions as well as on contentious matters. One client praises him as someone who is "very accomplished, follows up on any matters I assign to him and gives personal reports for every project we are involved in." He assisted Arçelik with the initiation of a data protection compliance project that spans multiple jurisdictions.

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Band 2

Gönenç Gürkaynak

ELIG Attorneys at Law

From the Chambers Europe guide

Clients describe Gönenç Gürkaynak as "understanding, knowledgeable and conscious of the client's needs," adding that "he is also a great communicator and is thoughtful, both in understanding the urgency of requests and in having flexible schedules." His broad practice encompasses IT, telecoms and media matters. He also represents domestic and international companies in disputes.

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Band 2

BTS & Partners (Beceni - Türkekul - Sevim Attorney Partnership)

From the Chambers Europe guide

Tuğrul Sevim provides specialist advice on IT and telecommunications contracts. He represents clients in litigation as well as assisting businesses with IP portfolios and in the negotiations of IP contracts. He advised MasterCard on its licence application procedure to be able to operate commercially in Turkey.

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Band 2

Yazicioglu Attorneys at Law

From the Chambers Europe guide

Bora Yazicioglu of Yazicioglu Attorneys at Law advises international and domestic clients on regulatory and TMT-related matters, as well as representing them in litigation.

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Band 3

Hakkı Can Yıldız

Esin Attorney Partnership, a Member Firm of Baker McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein

From the Chambers Europe guide

Hakkı Can Yıldız heads the practice and advises domestic and international clients on data privacy, internet law and telecommunications. Clients describe him as "a diligent lawyer" who is "experienced in EU data protection regulations and GDPR."

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