On 21 October 2021, Regulation for the amendment of the Regulation on Associations (Amending Regulation) published in the Official Gazette numbered 31635. Some important amendments especially within the framework of Foreign Aid and Auditing of Associations have been introduced through the amending regulation to the Regulation on Associations (Regulation) published in the Official Gazette dated March 31, 2005 and numbered 25772.

As per new article 15/A introduced in Regulation, associations now can hold the general meetings and meetings of the board of directors online in the electronic environment over the electronic systems approved by the Directorate General of Information Technologies of the Ministry. The resolutions of the board of directors taken in the electronic environment need to be stored in the electronic environment separately from the decision book kept in the physical environment. The members participating in the general meetings or meetings of the board of directors of the association held in the electronic environment need to use secure electronic signature or two-factor authentication system to join the meetings.

Title of the chapter 4 of the Regulation has been amended as “Foreign Aids”. Money and Aids transferred to the headquarters and abroad by the foreign foundations and non-profit organizations need to be notified before transfers and these notifications should be shared with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the Associations Information System, DERBİS.

The foreign financial aids in the amounts exceeding hundred thousand Turkish Liras or ten thousand Euro or equivalent foreign currency should be made through the banks and other financial institutions or PTT. Transactions can also be done by customs declarations, in the case of having difficulties in the bank transfers. Moreover, after transactions, the Notification of the Result of Foreign Aid Made should be submitted to the local authority within ninety days. The form and visual materials and similar substitutive documents with respect to the realization of the aids made should be attached to the relevant notification. In this respect “Methods of Notification” in the regulation has been amended as below, in addition to Annex 4/A Notification for Foreign Aid Received and Annex-4/B Notification for Foreign Aid Made, Annex-4/C, Notification of the Result of Foreign Aid Made, should be submitted to the Department for Relations with Civil Society in the place of the headquarter of the association.

Additional articles on risk analysis and auditing are also added into Regulation.  Accordingly, Statutory audits will be conducted based on the risk assessment. By the Directorate General of Civil Society Relations, risk analysis will be carried out for the associations within the framework of the fight against the laundering proceeds of crime and financing of terrorism. The risk groups of the associations will be determined as high, medium and low. The criteria determined for the risk analysis will be reviewed and assessed each year in accordance with the new information received and the auditing programs will be prepared for the associations in the high and medium risk groups. These relevant associations will be audited by the civil servants upon the request of the Minister of Interior or local authority. The procedures and principles for the risk analysis and auditing of the associations will be determined by the Directorate General. During the audits, for the cases needing solution of which requires expertise, private or technical information, the opinion of an expert can be asked by auditors. Directorate General would organize training programs and workshops in proportion with the risk levels of the associations in order to ensure the compliance with their liabilities within the framework of the law of associations and relevant legislation, increase their awareness against the finance of terrorism risks, share good practices and to receive recommendations and feedbacks.

                                                                                                SADIK SÖZER ÇİZMECİ

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