The Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Turkey (“Ministry”) sent a letter dated March 3, 2020 to the governorates of 81 provinces in Turkey extending the deadline for the submission of associations’ annual declarations and notifications (“Letter“).
What Does the Letter Mean?
As per the Associations Law No. 5253 (“Law“), associations are obligated to submit a declaration to the relevant local authority regarding their activities as of the end of the relevant year, and the results of their income and expense activities by the end of April every year. In addition, they have obligations to notify the relevant local authority about several subjects, such as receiving foreign monetary aid, real property acquisition or general assembly meetings within the periods specified under the Law.
The Letter states that in order to contain the spread of COVID-19, a curfew was declared for people who are 65 years and older and those with chronic diseases, as well as travel restrictions between cities. It has been observed that these measures have created difficulties regarding the management activities of associations, such as adopting resolutions when association directors are located in different provinces.
In addition, the Letter states that the temporary postponement of non-governmental organizations’ general assembly meetings and all kinds of meetings and activities, including trainings that convene people (except for administrative activities requiring operational requirements) as of March 16, 2020 also affected the activities of associations.
Due to these reasons, the deadline for associations to submit annual declarations and other notifications stipulated by the Law and relevant regulations was temporarily postponed to August 1, 2020.
Pursuant to this postponement, associations will not be subject to any administrative sanctions if they are unable to submit their declarations by the end of April, and to submit other notifications arising from the Law and relevant regulations within the specified deadlines for each notification to the relevant local authority.
Please refer to https://www.esin.av.tr/coronavirus-desk/ for our client alerts regarding the legal consequences of COVID-19 on other areas.