The Judges and Prosecutors Council (“Council”) issued a decision on the establishment of new specialized courts. Further to the Council’s decisions, cybercrimes and financial crimes will now be heard in specialized courts.
The Council’s decisions on the establishment of new specialized courts were published in the Official Gazette dated 30 November 2021. Accordingly, cybercrimes and financial crimes, together with certain other crimes, will now be under the authority of specialized courts. The Council’s decisions will be effective as of 15 December 2021. You may access the decisions online here (in Turkish).
What do the decisions cover?
Within the scope of the Human Rights Action Plan, the establishment of specialized courts in the fields of finance, union, zoning and expropriation, as well as tax and cybersecurity, was included in the government’s agenda and the Council was named as the competent authority for the establishment of these courts. In order to ensure the uniformity of the practice and increase efficiency, the Council decided on the establishment of specialized courts for cybercrimes and financial crimes where two or more courts are competent to hear such cases.
The Council underlined the differences in the nature of cases and works arising out of cybercrimes and decided that the following crimes stipulated under the Turkish Criminal Code, which are related to information systems, will be heard in specialized courts:
- Qualified theft and fraud committed through the use of information systems
- Qualified fraud by means of the relevant individual introducing themselves as a public official or an employee of a bank, insurance or credit institution or stating that they are associated with these institutions and organizations
- Access to a data-processing system, hindrance or destruction of the system, deletion or alteration of data
- Improper use of bank or credit cards
- The use of banned devices or programs
- Imposition of security precautions on legal entities that benefit from the cybercrimes
- Crimes under Law No. 7258 on Betting Activities Related To Soccer and Other Sports Contests
- In parallel to its approach regarding cybercrimes, the Council underlined the differences in the nature of cases and works arising out of the Law No. 6493 on Payment and Securities Settlement Systems, Payment Services and E-Money Institutions (“Payment Services Law“), and decided that the crimes regulated under the Payment Services Law (such as unauthorized provision of payment services) will be heard in specialized courts appointed by the Council.
Due to the increasing number of disputes in the fields of financial technologies (fintech) and information systems, Turkey has established specialized courts in view of the workload and the nature of the disputes in these fields. All relevant individuals must review the regulations on the establishment of specialized courts and the relevant disputes to be heard by these courts, and follow the developments in this regard.