Regulatory & Compliance

The Latest Amendments to The Regulation on Associations in Turkey

With “the Regulation Amending the Regulation on Associations” (“Regulation”) which is published in the Official Gazette numbered 31635 and dated 21.10.2021, certain adjustments and additions have been made to the Regulation numbered 25772 and dated 31.03.2005. General and detailed issues regarding to the regulation will be evaluated and presented to the readers information with this article.

 

The Associations Meeting Of General Assembly And Board Of Directors, Meetings Can Now Be Held Electronically. 

 

As of the amendment, General Assembly and Board of Directors’ meetings can be held via electronic systems approved by the General Directorate of Information Technologies, which is affiliated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In accordance with the legislation, association members can participate in the electronic meetings by using electronic signature or identity verification systems. 

 

All kinds of documents and records regarding to the General Assembly and Board of Directors meetings of the associations will be presented by the association. In addition, violation of procedures and principles regarding the meetings held in the physical environment will also remain valid for the meetings which are held electronically, in case of contradiction to the regulation, cancellation of the board meetings and administrative fines will be enforced. 

 

In Accordance with The Regulation, Associations Are Now Obliged To Submit Information Regarding In-Kind Aid And Cash Aid Made To Abroad. 

 

It is stipulated that the local administrative bodies have to be notified before the abroad aid procedures are carried out, and after the aid procedures have been carried out it is mandatory to notify the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Associations Information System regarding such aid.

 

Financial institutions and Banks or Turkish Post and Telegraph Organization (PTT) are required to be used as intermediary for cash aid transactions exceeding 100.000 Turkish lira or its equivalent in foreign currency units. 

 

When the aid transactions are completed, activity result notification must be made to the local administrative bodies within 90 days. In addition, a form and similar proving documents have to be attached to the activity result notification stating that the aid transaction is lawfully executed.

 

Other Adjustments Brought By Regulation

 

Within the scope of the association’s regulation, associations whose annual gross returns which exceeds 1.500.000 Turkish Liras are obligated to keep books on the basis of balance sheet.

 

Foreign Associations will be subject to the same provisions in their activities as the legislation governing Associations in turkey. 

 

Risk Analysis And Audit

 

New adjustments were made under the title of “Risk Analysis and Audit” in the Regulation. Risk analysis for Associations is mainly regulated to be carried out by the General Directorate of Civil Society Relations (“Directorate”), according to the regulation associations will be grouped as high, medium and low risk. 

 

The purpose of the regulation is to raise awareness against money laundering and terrorism financing risk and to provide feedback and advice for associations. 

 

After the preparation of audit programs for associations included in high and medium risk groups by the Directorate, the audit will be carried out by public officials appointed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs or local administrative bodies.

 

On the other hand, if it is found necessary as a result of complaints, declarations or evaluations in line with the requests from judicial and administrative authorities, the audit of associations that are considered as low risk group will be executed by the local administrative body.

 

Assignment Of An Expert

 

In accordance with the amendment made in the regulation, in case of situations that require expertise, special or technical knowledge to be solved during the audit, expert witness can be requested. 

 

In case there is a request for the assignment of an expert, a notification should be made to the General Directorate of Civil Society Relations for the assignments made by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. For the assignments made by the Local Administrative Bodies, notification to the governorship and district governorship is regulated as a principal. 

 

Confidentiality is stipulated for the information and documents submitted to the Expert by the associations. The expert is obliged to ensure the confidentiality of the secrets and information that have been shared by the associations even after his\her duty ends.

 

In the Annex of the Regulation sample, documents and forms have been shared in order to carry out the relevant transactions and applications, readers may access these documents via link below: https://www.resmigazete.gov.tr/eskiler/2021/10/20211021-3-1.pdf 

Yağız Öztim

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