The Law No. 7226 on Amendment of Certain Laws ("Amendment Law") has been published in the second Official Gazette of March 26, 20201 for the purposes of preventing adverse consequences of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Amendment Law includes various changes and measures such as suspension of legal periods in the judicial proceedings (criminal, administrative and civil), tax procedure terms and insurance funds.
One of the most significant amendment in the Amendment Law is introduced to Law on Regulation of Broadcasts via Internet and Prevention of Crimes Committed through Such Broadcasts ("Law No. 5651"). Article 32 of the Amendment Law changes Article 8 of Law No. 5651 and adds the crimes regulated under the Law on Regulation of Betting and Games of Chance in Football and Other Sports Competitions ("Law No. 7258") (e.g. providing medium, advertisement, opportunity and money transfer for illegal betting) into the scope of the catalogue crimes listed under Article 8 of the Law No. 5651.
In this respect, when the broadcasted content constitutes the crimes mentioned in Law No. 7258, the President of the Information and Communication Technologies Authority will from now on have the authority to ex officio decide for access ban of the relevant content.
In fact, Article 8 of the Law No. 5651, stated that contents which constitute the crime of gambling under the Turkish Criminal Code could be access banned by a judge or in certain circumstances by the public prosecutor. With the recent amendments introduced, ICTA will also be entitled to ex officio issue access ban decisions on the contents which constitute the crime of gambling.
Apparently, the legislators aimed at widening the scope covered by the access ban procedure regulated under Article 8 of the Law No. 5651 by adding the crimes under the Law No. 7558 to its scope and implementing a swift take down process by authorizing ICTA to render access ban decisions with respect to illegal betting and gambling.
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