he market share of e-commerce is steadily increasing worldwide. This trend allows for the sale of almost all products on the internet. However, our legal regulations do not permit the online sale of certain products that are sold offline. In this study, we aim to summarize these regulations, often introduced for security reasons, through an extensive legal research.
- Regarding the sale and advertisement of products containing obscenity, as per Article 226 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), attention must be paid to the following
- Products and content containing obscenity must be hidden from individuals under the age of 18
- Only authorized locations and individuals should sell/rent these products, and the content must be concealed during these transactions.
- These products should not be given as gifts/promotions alongside other goods and services.
- Advertisement should not be carried out.
- Obscene products with images suggestive of children should not be sold.
- Products containing obscenity that involve the use of children should not be sold.
- If a product containing obscenity is a scientific work, the above restrictions do not apply.
- If a product containing obscenity is a literary or artistic work, the restrictions do not apply as long as access by children is prevented.
- In cases where certain crimes listed in the Turkish Penal Code are committed on the internet, access to the relevant websites may be blocked. The following products should not be sold or exhibited online:
- Products or content that may incite suicide.
- Products related to the use of narcotics and stimulants.
- Products, content, or services related to child exploitation.
- Substances that may pose a health risk.
- Products, services, or content encouraging prostitution.
- Services, content, or facilities intended for providing opportunities for gambling.
- Products or content containing insults or defamation against Atatürk.
- Products sold by prescription.
- Human medicines.
- Herbal medicinal products licensed by the Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency.
- Homeopathic products subject to the approval of the Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency.
- Special medical purpose dietetic foods and special medical purpose infant formulas, including enteral nutrition products.
- Medical devices other than those mentioned above.
The sale of the following items is permitted outside of authorized sales centers:
- Denture care products.
- Incontinence pads.
- Topically applied hot and cold compresses.
- Band-aids, plasters.
- Breath-opening nasal strips.
The sale of prescription eyeglass lenses, eyeglass frames, and prescription lenses can only be conducted by those with an optician’s license.
Firearms and Blades
The sale of certain items, including knives, daggers, batons, folding knives, swords, cleavers, bayonets, pikes, pointed and serrated knives, clubs, whips with knobs, choking wires or chains, knuckledusters, and similar tools designed for both offense and defense, is prohibited.
The sale of firearms, such as blank, air, pneumatic, shotgun, real bullet, or plastic bullet-firing weapons, working or non-working, as well as pepper spray and electroshock devices, on the internet is prohibited.
Establishing and operating factories and workshops producing smooth-bore hunting rifles, air and gas-pressure firearms, and their components, as well as the sale of firearms, shotguns, and knives, can only be done by individuals with a sales permit and purchasers with a purchase permit. No such permit is required for the sale of air and gas-pressure firearms.
Tobacco Products and Alcoholic Beverages
Tobacco product refers to any kind of hookah and cigarettes, or any kind of hookah and tobacco products that are produced to be used by smoking, sucking, chewing, or sniffing, and that are produced entirely or partially from tobacco leaves as raw material. Any form of hookah or cigarette that does not contain tobacco but imitates tobacco products is also considered a tobacco product.
The sale, advertisement, and display of tobacco products on the internet are prohibited. The sale of alcoholic beverages on the internet is also prohibited.
Veterinary Medical Products
Veterinary medical products include industrial veterinary medical products prepared industrially or by industrial methods, veterinary medical products made for the purpose of producing medicated feeds, active substances used as starting materials, and substances with anabolic, anti-infectious, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, hormonal, or psychotropic properties for veterinary use.
The sale and promotion of veterinary medical products, except for veterinary biological products, are prohibited on the internet.
Excluded from the Scope
Products prepared as medicinal feeds, known generally as magistral formulations or products prepared in a pharmacy for a small group or a single animal, or products prepared in accordance with official formulations and complying with the requirements of a pharmacopoeia for direct delivery to the end user, provided that they comply with human, animal, and environmental health regulations, and are intended for research and development purposes.
Organic Agricultural Products
Organic products refer to raw, semi-finished, or finished certified products produced in accordance with the principles of organic farming, organic inputs, and organic farming methods.
Products that have not been certified by a control and certification organization or certification organization cannot be sold under the name “organic product” or “organic input.”
Cosmetic products can be offered for sale as long as the information on their inner and outer packaging is not erasable, easily visible, and legible.
The sale of pets on the internet is prohibited. However, free adoption ads may be posted. It should be ensured that a fee is not charged during the delivery of the animal.
Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products
The sale and promotion of herbal dietary supplements and herbal-based cosmetic products that are prepared using traditional medicinal plants and herbal preparations that are used traditionally, and vitamin and mineral-fortified herbal dietary supplements that are in compliance with indications (treatment) are prohibited.
In conclusion, the sale of various products is prohibited on the internet due to legal regulations, which vary from obscenity to health and safety concerns. It is essential to comply with these regulations when conducting online sales to ensure both legal compliance and consumer safety.