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ÇİÇEK SEPETİ DECISION FROM THE TURKISH SUPREME COURT: INTERMEDIARY SERVICE PROVIDERS ARE NOT LIABLE

The decision of the 3rd Civil Chamber of the Turkish Supreme Court (“Chamber”) with File No. 2021/4000 and Decision No. 2021/11403 (“Decision”) was published in the Official Gazette dated 25 January 2022. The Decision includes important remarks concerning the liability of intermediary service providers for the goods and services sold through the electronic environment.

In the subject case, a user applied to consumer arbitral tribunal with the price return demand upon detecting a cigarette litter in the truffle which was ordered through www.ciceksepeti.com (“Çiçek Sepeti”) platform. Following the acceptance of demand by the consumer arbitral tribunal, Çiçek Sepeti raised an objection before the first instance court and the first instance court dismissed the objection by stating that Çiçek Sepeti is liable for the defective product and recourse relationship between the supplier firm and Çiçek Sepeti does not bind the consumer.

After the dispute submitted to the Chamber upon the decision issued by the first instance court, the Chamber concluded by referring to Article 9 of Law No. 6563 on the Regulation of Electronic Commerce and Article 6 of the Regulation on Service Providers and Intermediary Service Providers in Electronic Communication that;


· The dispute has arisen due to a defective product which was sold through the electronic environment,

· The plaintiff Çiçek Sepeti is an intermediary service provider,

· As an intermediary service provider, Çiçek Sepeti is not obliged to control the content provided by the parties using the electronic environment offered by Çiçek Sepeti,


and annulled the decision of the first instance court by deciding that intermediary service providers are not liable for the defective goods sold through the electronic environment.


Within this scope, it is likely to conclude that the Decision is a landmark case in terms of the activities of intermediary service providers as well as their liabilities for goods and services sold through the electronic environment, and it will also shape the future decisions of consumer arbitral tribunals and courts.

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