I. WHAT IS THE KEP ADDRESS?
Registered electronic mail (“KEP- Kayıtlı Elektronik Posta in Turkish”) is a qualified mailing system that allows the storage of electronic documents and re-access to electronic mail, when necessary, as well as a deed in the legal sense and constitutes conclusive evidence until proven otherwise. Through KEP, important information such as (i) which person/organization sent the electronic mail; (ii) whether and when it reached the recipient; (iii) whether it was read by the recipient can be easily determined.
With the KEP, electronic mail can be sent and received between all kinds of institutions and persons, regardless of whether they are public or private, and the use of KEP is preferred in terms of security, especially when making transactions such as declarations, proclamation, applications, notifications, notices, warnings, notices, bank investment / credit / credit card account statements, online shopping orders. In this way, transactions are carried out more quickly and practically without resorting to procedures such as archiving and mailing, and the security of transactions is ensured.
For the first time in the legislation, the Turkish Commercial Code dated January 13, 2011, and numbered 6102 referred to the registered electronic mail system, and it is stipulated that notices or warnings in electronic media between merchants regarding the default of the other party, termination of the contract, withdrawal from the contract shall be made through the registered electronic mail system.
II. OBTAINING KEP ADDRESS
The KEP address can be obtained from the registered electronic mail service providers on the website of the Information and Technologies Communication Authority. The documents required for the applications to be made for the provision of this KEP vary from natural persons and legal entities and public institutions. The documents required during the application are listed below.
a) For applications made by natural person
• Turkish Republic Identity Card (valid official documents such as passport, driver’s license, etc. with photographs and substitutes for identity cards are also accepted) and
• KEP application form
b) For applications made on behalf of a legal entity
- Turkish Republic Identity Card and authorization document of the person applying on behalf of the legal entity,
- Notarized signature circular,
- The KEP application form to be filled out on behalf of the legal entity and
- Original trade registry certificate or activity certificate of the legal entity
c) In applications to be made in terms of public institutions
- Document with Turkish ID number,
- Official letter signed by the senior official of the institution and
- KEP application form
After the necessary controls are completed, registered electronic mail service providers create a KEP account in the name of the person/institution to which the application is made by the registered electronic mail service providers and the information regarding the account is securely delivered to the applicant. Natural persons, legal entities, and public institutions can open more than one account from the same or different registered electronic mail service providers.
III. USE OF KEP ADDRESS
Electronic signature and mobile signature are the most important issues to be considered regarding the use of a KEP address. In the event that only a KEP address will be used as the recipient, it is not necessary to have an electronic signature or mobile signature, however, if electronic mail will be sent via KEP, an electronic signature must be obtained from electronic certificate service providers or a mobile signature must be used.
In addition, it is important that the KEP is a specific system. In addition, it is important that the KEP system is a specific system within itself. In other words, it is not possible to send messages from the KEP system to other standard electronic mail systems or to receive messages from other systems to the KEP system.
Another issue that will be useful to mention is the use and/or transfer of the KEP account to someone else. According to the second paragraph of Article 11 of the Regulation on the Procedures and Principles Regarding the Registered Electronic Mail System (Regulation) published in the Official Gazette dated August 25, 2011, and numbered 28036; it is essential that the KEP account is used by the account holder on its own behalf and account.
While natural persons can only use their KEP accounts themselves, the situation is different for legal entities. Legal entities can define more than one transaction representative to use their KEP accounts on their behalf and account, and they can change this transaction representative at any time. However, regardless of whether it is a natural or legal person, KEP accounts cannot be transferred to someone else.
IV. IS KEP ADDRESS MANDATORY?
In accordance with the Regulation on the Procedures and Principles to be Applied in Government Correspondence published in the Official Gazette dated June 10, 2020, and numbered 31151, public institutions and organizations that conduct correspondence electronically within the scope of the e-Correspondence Project are required to establish the technical and administrative infrastructure to accept official correspondence transmitted to them via KEP.
In this context, Public Institutions and Organizations and Regulatory and Supervisory Authorities may require the Private Legal Entities and Natural Persons they deal with to obtain a KEP address at the time of application for their services. On the other hand, while it is mandatory for legal entities to be registered in the KEP directory, it is optional for individual users to be registered in the KEP directory.
V. COST OF KEP ADDRESS
The cost of a KEP address varies according to the registered electronic mail service providers and the fees are indicated on the websites of the relevant service providers.
VI. CLOSURE OF KEP ACCOUNT
Pursuant to Article 13 of the Regulation, a KEP account may be closed upon request by the account holder, in the event of the account holder’s death, fulfilment of the closure conditions specified in the contract or commitment letter, or termination of activities by the registered electronic mail service providers. If the account holder requests the closure of the KEP address, this request can be made at any time through the call centers or websites of registered electronic mail service providers. Following the request, the account is closed after the necessary identity verifications are made by the relevant service providers.
Once the account is closed, both sending and receiving messages from the respective account will be disabled. However, the KEP account is kept open for at least three months after closure before being entirely closed for use. If the account holder wishes to reactivate a closed KEP account, they can submit a request, provide the necessary identification documents, and pay the account fee to have the account reopened.
Author: Helin Yıldız