What is Registered Electronic Mail (KEP)?
Registered Electronic Mail (KEP) is legally valid and technically secure electronic mail. It ensures the protection of all types of commercial and legal correspondence and document sharing, definitively identifies the recipient, guarantees the content remains unchanged, and establishes the email as a legally valid and binding piece of evidence.
Electronic mail, commonly used for information and document sharing in electronic format, is an important tool for facilitating faster and easier business transactions. However, to ensure secure and legally valid communication between parties via electronic mail, additional security services are required. Developed to meet these needs, Registered Electronic Mail (KEP) is a qualified form of electronic communication that provides legal evidence regarding the use of electronic messages, including sending and delivery. KEP services are provided by Registered Electronic Mail Service Providers. In addition to sending and receiving electronic messages within the KEP system, value-added services such as storing electronic documents, secure communication, and reliable third-party services in the electronic environment can also be offered.
In Turkish legislation, reference to the registered electronic mail system was first made in the Turkish Commercial Code numbered 6102, dated 13/1/2011. It was stipulated that electronic notifications or notices related to events such as defaulting the other party, terminating a contract, or rescinding a contract between merchants would be conducted through the registered electronic mail system using notary public, registered mail, telegram, or secure electronic signature. Additionally, the same law granted the Information Technologies and Communication Authority the authority and duty to make secondary regulations regarding the KEP system.
For individuals, the KEP account address is "name.surname@hsY.kep.tr". In case there is another registration with the same name and surname, it can be created as "name.surname.number@hsY.kep.tr". If the applicant has multiple names or surnames, the KEP account address is provided with at least one of the names or surnames written explicitly, side by side.
In corporate applications, it can be in the format of "TaxRegistrationNumber", "TaxRegistrationNumber.X", "LegalEntityName", or "LegalEntityName.X", where X is optionally determined in alphanumeric form.
Registered electronic mail service is subject to fees, which are determined by service providers.
Advantages of KEP:
- Ensures whether an email has been sent to the relevant person.
- Confirms whether the sent email has been received.
- Verifies whether the sent email has been accessed.
- Determines the time of email transmission.
- Guarantees the content remains unchanged.
- Preserves messages as legally valid evidence.
Who will provide the KEP service?
The KEP system is operated by Registered Electronic Mail Service Providers (KEPHS) who have established their infrastructure in compliance with laws and relevant regulations, including the eTSI TS 102 640 standard, as well as international standards for KEP, information security, common criteria, business continuity, and incident management. KEPHS are audited and regulated by the regulatory authority in accordance with the relevant legal regulations and secondary regulations. In Turkey, KEPHS are supervised by the Information Technologies and Communication Authority (BTK). As of December 2013, three authorized KEP service providers are supervised by BTK: PTT KEP, TNB KEP, and TurkKEP.
How long are KEP records retained?
Evidence related to KEP messages is preserved for 20 years, while evidence related to e-delivery (e-tebligat) is retained for 30 years.
What is e-delivery (e-tebligat)?
E-delivery (e-tebligat) refers to the electronic transmission of notifications prepared in electronic form by authorities authorized to issue notifications according to the Notification Law. These notifications are sent through registered electronic mail and are immutable and incontrovertible.
Both public institutions and organizations and legal and natural persons can become members of the e-delivery system. In this system, authorities authorized to issue notifications according to the Notification Law can send electronic notifications, and recipients can receive electronic notifications.
Legislation Related to the KEP System
The provisions related to registered electronic mail in the Turkish Commercial Code numbered 6102, dated 13/1/2011:
Article 18, paragraph 3: "Among merchants, notifications or notices to default the other party, terminate a contract, or rescind a contract are made through the registered electronic mail system using notary public, registered mail, telegram, or secure electronic signature."
Article 1525, paragraph 2: "The procedures and principles regarding the registered electronic mail system, the transactions to be conducted through this system, their outcomes, registered email addresses of individuals, businesses, and companies, the rights and obligations of registered electronic mail service providers, their authorization and supervision will be regulated by the Information Technologies and Communication Authority through a regulation. The regulation shall be published within five months from the publication date of this Law."