PROHIBITION OF PUBLICITY REGULATIONS (*)
OF THE UNION OF BAR ASSOCIATIONS OF TURKEY
Purpose, Scope, And Basis
Article 1 – The purpose of these Regulations is to prevent any undertakings or activities by those covered by the present Regulations that could be interpreted as publicity; and to ensure that attorneys practice their profession with care, honesty, and honor; conduct themselves in a manner suitable to the dignity and trustworthiness requisite to the title of attorney; and to avoid acts that would be detrimental to their status and function in the realm of jurisprudence and to the image of jurisdiction.
Article 2 – These Regulations cover attorneys, attorney partnerships, attorney offices, attorneyship apprentices, attorneys without a law degree, and office staff under the responsibility of attorneys.
Those covered by these Regulations are under the obligation to refrain from all kinds of undertakings and activities intended solely to gain reputation, not to be engaged in any undertakings and activities that could be interpreted as publicity to offer their services, not to allow such activities and conduct of third parties that could be interpreted as publicity, and to take the necessary precautions in order to prevent such conduct.
Article 3 – These Regulations have been prepared in accordance with Article 55 of the Attorneyship Law, number 136, dated 19 March 1969.
Article 4 – The office where professional activities are conducted must be suitable for this purpose and befitting the dignity of the profession.
Article 5 – The sign may display the title of attorney, name and last name, academic title, if any, the floor number and the door number to the office. The sign may not display any title, expression, design, emblem, any expressions or other designs other than in the Turkish language, symbols, pictures, photographs, etc. apart from what is prescribed in the present Regulations.
In the case of sharing the same office, the term “Attorney Office” must appear together with the name(s) and last name(s) of one or several attorneys. In the case of attorney partnerships, the term “Attorney Partnership” must appear together with the name and title of the partnership indicated in the partnership contract.
Unless physically not feasible, the sign may be posted next to the doorway, the lobby, or the entrance corridor of the building where the office is, or next to the door to the office.
More than one sign may not be posted and similar inscriptions may not be placed on the façades of buildings, office balconies and windows. An illuminated panel may not be used for a sign; and the sign may not be adorned with lights. Two colors is the maximum that can be used in a sign.
The dimensions of the sign may not be greater than 70 centimeters by 100 centimeters.
Article 6 – Letterheads, calling cards, and other printed matter may not be so lavishly designed as to appear as an advertisement.
Letterheads, calling cards, and other printed matter may only display the title of attorney, academic title, if any, name and last name, address, telephone and fax numbers, Internet and e-mail addresses, registration numbers with the bar association and the Union of Bar Associations of Turkey, tax department, and tax registration number.
In the case of sharing the same office, the term “Attorney Office” must be displayed. In the case of attorney partnerships, the term “Attorney Partnership” must appear together with the names and last names of the attorneys in the partnership.
Attorneys in a partnership are under the obligation to use their own names and last names along with that of the office or the partnership in their letterheads, calling cards, and other printed matter.
Letterheads, calling cards, and other printed matter may not display any appellations such as retired judge, retired public prosecutor, retired notary public, legal expert, brand name / patent agent, insurance expert, expert witness, cabinet minister, member of parliament, etc. other than the title of attorney and academic titles; or past or ongoing services with public and private organizations and agencies, or with political parties.
Attorneys who have served in the entities of bar associations and the Union of Bar Associations of Turkey in the past may not use titles referring to these services. Those currently serving may use these titles in the performance of, and limited to, these services.
Letterheads, calling cards, and other printed matter may not display any writing, expressions, pictures, or emblems and symbols, other than the emblems of the bar association or the Union of Bar Associations of Turkey, which go beyond the purpose of indicating the name and title of the attorney or the attorney partnership.
Attorneyship service may not be registered as a trade mark by any means; and no application may be made for this purpose.
Article 7 – An address entry may be taken out in the professions section of the telephone directory.
The publication in the telephone directory of names, last names, office addresses, Internet addresses, e-mail addresses, and communication codes is also authorized provided that they appear in alphabetical order and are not accompanied by any expression, symbol, mark, etc. distinguishing them from those of the other attorneys, attorney offices, and attorney partnerships.
Relations with the media
Article 8 – Those covered by the present Regulations may announce their changes of address, opening of an office, return to practice after a hiatus longer than six months, joining an attorney partnership, and departing from an attorney partnership in newspapers and other printed media in ways “not in the nature of publicity.”
Those covered by the present Regulations may not broadcast any material “in the nature of publicity” on their lifestyles, income, and professional activities; may not make statements or disclose information on lawsuits in progress or in the past by identifying themselves with the lawsuit and acting in the manner of a spokesperson for a party thereto; may not speak or appear on the radio or on television; and may not offer information and make statements on the Internet.
Those covered by the present Regulations are under the obligation to refrain from any conduct that could be interpreted as publicity and from making any disclosures that could disparage the profession of attorneyship when they give interviews for publication in newspapers and periodicals, and participate in talk shows, panel discussions, and programs of a similar nature that would be broadcast on the radio or on television.
Attorneys may not produce, present, or direct; and may not take part in the production, presentation, and direction of serialized programs, periodical publications, and programs that would be published for a definite period of time or indefinitely on printed and audio-visual media in the capacity of director, producer, consultant, and the like using their title of attorney.
Those covered by the present Regulations may not highlight themselves or the legal project they are working on to the extent of being interpreted as publicity in discharging their duties of representation in courts or in their relations with the printed media, radio, and television.
The registration or termination of an attorney partnership or the departure of a partner may be made public as an announcement.
Article 9 – Every attorney has the right to express himself/herself in any medium, including the Internet, allowed by technology and science in a manner not contrary to the honor and rules of the profession of attorneyship, the dignity and trustworthiness requisite to the title of attorney, and the “Professional Rules of Attorneyship” to be formulated by the Union of Bar Associations of Turkey.
The right to create a web site that would introduce the activities and office of an attorney on the Internet belongs primarily to the bar association of which the attorney is a member. Those covered by the present Regulations may create a web site, by giving prior notice to their bar association, that contains only the following points; and may publish their professional essays and scientific works.
Bar associations and the Union of Bar Associations of Turkey will ensure that the web sites of attorneys covered by the present Regulations contain the following:
a) Names, last names, and titles.
b) Bar association registration numbers.
c) Union of Bar Associations of Turkey registration numbers.
d) Dates practice started.
e) Office address.
f) Telephone and fax numbers.
g) University/universities graduated from.
i) e-mail address(es) and mail form.
j) Academic title(s), if any.
k) Foreign language(s) spoken, if any.
The Internet addresses of the web sites to be created by attorneys must be in the format http://www.namelastname.gen.tr
until a domain type specific to attorneys is introduced.
Attorneys may not create web sites with other domain type extensions (.com, .net, .org, etc.)
Attorneys may not create web sites under or above another existing Internet address.
Attorneys may submit their URL’s only to search engines with general content.
Those covered by the present Regulations may not submit their URL’s to, or consent to having them listed in specialist search engines, directories, lists, data bases and the like for the purpose of offering their services and in a manner that would engender unfair competition vis-à-vis their colleagues.
In submitting their URL’s to specialist search engines serving only to locate attorney web sites, attorneys may not use any words or identifying phrases other than their “name and last name or the partnership title, city, and title” as their keywords.
Attorneys may not accept links that would direct Internet users to their web sites and may not advertise on the Internet.
Article 10 – Those covered by the present Regulations may not present or describe the attorneys, jointly used attorney offices, and formal attorney partnerships they cooperate with in Turkey and abroad in such terms as “liaison office” that would generalize the cooperation and portray it as being permanent.
Violation of regulations
Article 11 – Bar associations will initiate an investigation ex officio in the event of the violation of these Regulations.
Entry into effect
Article 12 – These Regulations will enter into effect on the date of their publication.
Article 13 – The provisions in these Regulations will be enforced by the board of directors of the Union of Bar Associations of Turkey.
(*) The present Regulations prepared by the Union of Bar Associations of Turkey have been published in the Official Gazette issue 24583 dated 14 November 2001