Article 21 - Personal Data Protection Board

(1) The Board shall perform and exercise the duties and powers conferred on it by this law and other laws, independently and under its own responsibility. No body, authority, office or person shall give orders and instructions, recommendations or suggestions to the Board on matters falling within the scope of its duties and powers.

(2) The Board is composed of nine members. Five members of the Board shall be elected by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, two members shall be elected by the President of Turkey and two members shall be elected by the Council of Ministers.

(3) The following conditions shall be met in order to be elected for the Board:

  • a) Being informed on and being experienced in the issues falling within Authority’s field of duty.
  • b) Complying with the requirements set forth in points (1), (4), (5), (6) and (7) of sub-paragraph (A) of first paragraph of Article 48 of the Public Servants Law No. 657 of 14/7/1965.
  • c) Not being a member of any political party.
  • ç) Having been graduated from at least a four-year graduate program.
  • d) Having been employed in public institutions and organisations, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, or professional associations having the status of public institution or in the private sector for at least ten years in total.

(4) Those who are elected for the membership should express their consent. Elections are held so as to pluralistical representation of those who are informed on and experienced in the issues falling within Authority’s field of duty.

(5) Board members shall be elected by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on the basis of the following procedure:

  • a) Persons twice as many as the number of members to be determined in proportion to the number of deputies of political party groups shall be nominated for election and the members of the Board shall be elected by the Plenary of the Grand National Assembly from among these candidates on the basis of the number of deputies allocated to each political party. However, political party groups shall not negotiate or decide whom to vote for in the elections to be held in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.
  • b) The Board members shall be elected within ten days after the designation and announcement of the candidates. For the candidates designated by the political party groups, a composite ballot in the form of separate lists shall be prepared. Voting shall be cast by ticking of the specific space across the names of the candidates. The votes casted more than the numbers of the members to be elected for the Board from the political party quotas, determined in accordance with paragraph two, shall be deemed invalid.
  • c) Provided that the quorum is ensured, candidates the number of whom corresponds to the number of vacancies and who take most of the votes shall be deemed to have been elected.
  • ç) The election for the renewal of the members shall be held two months before the expiration of their term of office; should there be a vacancy in the memberships for any reason, there shall be an election within one month as of the date of vacancy; or if the date of vacancy coincides with the recess of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. the election shall take place within one month from the end of the recess, by employing the same procedure. During these elections, the allocation of the vacant memberships to the political party groups shall be made by considering the number of the elected members from the political party groups’ quotas in the first election and the current proportions of the political party groups.

(6) Forty-five days before the expiration of the term of office or in case of expiration of term of office by any reason of the members elected by the President of Turkey or the Council of Ministers, the Authority shall notify the situation in fifteen days to the office of the Prime Minister so as to be submitted to the office of the President of Turkey or the Council of Ministers; A new election shall take place one month before the expiration of term of office of the members. Should there be a vacancy in these memberships before the expiration of term of office, there shall be an election within fifteen days as of the date of notification.

(7) The Board shall designate the Head and the Second Head of the Board among its members. The Head of the Board is also the President of the Authority.

(8) Term of office of the Board members is four years. Members may be re-elected after expiration of their term of office. The person who is elected instead of the member whose post ends before the expiration of his/her term of office for any reason, shall complete the remaining term of office.

(9) Members of the Board shall take the following oath before Court of Cassation’s Board of First Presidency: "I do solemnly swear on my honour and on my dignity that I will carry out my duties with absolute impartiality, bona fides, fairness and with sense of justice in line with the Constitution and the relevant legislation." Application to Court of Cassation for oath taking is deemed to be one of the pressing matters.

(10) Unless provided for by a specific law, the members shall not assume any public or private tasks other than those related with carrying out their official duties in the Board; shall not act as executives in associations, foundations, cooperatives and in similar bodies; shall not engage in commercial activities, shall not engage in self-employment, shall not act as arbitrators and expert witnesses. However, Board members may prepare scientific publications, give lectures and attend conferences so as not to hinder their primary duties, and may receive copyrights and fees associated with those.

(11) Investigations into the claims about the crimes allegedly committed by the members in connection with their duties shall be conducted as per the Law No. 4483 of 2/12/1999 on Adjudication of Public Servants and Other Public Employees, and permission for investigation shall be granted by the Prime Minister.

(12) Provisions of the Law No. 657 shall apply to disciplinary investigations and prosecutions about the members of the Board.

(13) Members shall not be removed from their office by any reason before the expiration of their term of office. However, members of the Board may be removed from office by the Board decision if:

  • a) it is found out subsequently that they do not meet the conditions required for their election,
  • b) the verdict, which is rendered for crimes committed by them in connection with their duties, becomes final
  • c) a medical report is issued by board of health to certify that they are not suitable for office,
  • ç) it is ascertained that they were absent from work for fifteen consecutive days or for a total of thirty days within a year, without legitimate permission and excuse.
  • d) it is ascertained that they fail to attend three Board meetings in one month and ten Board meetings in one year without any permission and excuse.

(14) Those who are appointed as the members of the Board shall be removed from their previous posts during their term of office in the Board. On the condition that they do not fail to meet the requirements of being employed as a civil servant, those who are assigned as Board members whilst on duty shall be appointed to posts that are appropriate for their vested positions and titles in one month, in case their term of office ends or they express their will to resign and lodge an application in this regard to their former institution within thirty days. Until the assignment, Authority shall continue to make any payment they are vested with. Until they take another post or take up another employment, Authority shall continue to make the payment of those who are appointed as Board members despite not being public servants and whose term of office terminated as stated hereinabove; and the payments to be made under this scope shall not exceed three months. With regard to personal and other rights, terms spent in the Authority shall be deemed to have spent in the previous institutions or organisations.