Turkey: New Legislative Development In Turkey – Use Of Geographical Information And Data For Maps

Presidential Decree on Geographical Information Systems draws a framework for constituting a National Geographical Data Responsibility Matrix

The Presidential Decree on Geographical Information Systems (“Decree”) was published in the Official Gazette dated November 7, 2019 and numbered 30941 and entered into force on its publication date.

The Decree determines its purpose as enabling coordination among public institutions and organizations; preparing targets and strategies; determining procedures, principles and standards with respect to the usage and maintenance of the geographical data and information (including its production, update, management, usage, access, security, sharing and distribution); and determining duties, authorities and responsibilities of the public institutions and the private persons with regard to the use of geographical information and data.

The Decree thusly, puts forth the necessity to establish a National Geographical Data Responsibility Matrix, which will determine and implement the national strategies and targets with respect to the use of geographical information and data and envisages that its establishment should be completed within a prescribed term of 1 year.

For purposes of the Decree, geographical information system refers to the “entirety of hardware, software, human resource, standards and methods that are required for the production, procurement, storage, process, management, analysis, updating and sharing of any geographical information”. On the other hand, the Decree has defined (i) the geographic data as “any data containing location information”; (ii) the geographical information as “qualified geographical data that include attribution information and topological information”; and (iii) the geographic data themes as “collection of geographic data on a specific topic which is determined and updated in accordance with the national and international standards in line with the needs of public institutions, organizations, natural and legal persons within the scope of the Decree”.

Accordingly, in addition to the activities of public institutions and organizations, the activities of private persons (e.g. real persons and legal entities) with regards to the use of geographical information are regulated with the Decree. As a matter of fact, the Decree sets forth that the collection, production, sharing and selling of geographical data within the scope of National Geographical Data Responsibility Matrix by private persons shall be subject to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization’s (“Ministry”) authorization, which may be granted upon review of the required commercial documentation and completion of the security investigation and/or archive research, where necessary. It further states that those private persons, who must apply for authorization from the Ministry shall also be obliged to record and update the information, with respect to the geographical data they collect, produce, share and sell.

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Source: Mondaq