Turkish president approves consumer law

Turkish president approves consumer law

Turkish President Abdullah Gül approved the Consumer Protection Law, numbered 6502, yesterday and sent the law to the Prime Ministry Office to be published yesterday.

The law, which took approximately three years to complete, was finally accepted in the Parliament General Assembly on the night of Nov. 7.

The government solidified a much-anticipated step in its fight against high banking commissions and fees with the approval of a consumer protection law that would bring tighter measures to the whole consumer market.

The new law authorizes Turkey’s banking watching dog, BDDK, to determine the banking product and service fees.

The new regulation also forces banks to offer at least one fee-free credit card for their customers. One of the measures to this end is making a free-paid credit card within their card portfolio obligatory for banks. When consumers open accounts with a credit contract and use it only for credit-related operations, no commission will be demanded from that customer.

With a last-minute decision, the panel removed a regulation that foresaw the consumer to pay a fine in the case of a consumer’s early payment of credit debt. The payment conditions in housing credits have been eased as well.

The legislation also removes a previous obligation to take out a policy for consumer and housing credits, leaving the consumer to decide. The law requires construction firms to take out policies before pre-paid house sales, aiming to prevent possible fraud cases, which have become an increasingly common problem, causing people to lose confidence in contractors. Insurance companies will also be able to reject insurance demands after reviewing project financing and the contractor’s reputation. In that case, the firm will seek assurance to complete its building projects through a letter of guarantee.