Green Claims / Greenwashing: Türkiye publishes Guide for Advertisements Containing Environmental Declarations


The Turkish Directorate General of Consumer Protection and Market Surveillance has published the Guide for Advertising with Environmental Statements to help persons, institutions and organisations involved in advertising to ensure that environmental statements and visuals in commercial advertising and practices comply with the law (the “Guide”). The Guide aims to provide guidance to ensure that all commercial advertisements and unfair commercial practices that include statements, phrases and visuals related to the environment and directed to consumers are in compliance with the Law on Consumer Protection, the Regulation on Commercial Advertisements and Unfair Commercial Practices and the relevant legislation.


The Guide defines an environmental statement as a statement or visual in a commercial advertisement or practice that demonstrates that a good or service has environmental benefits or no negative impact on the environment in terms of its composition, production, marketing, use or disposal process.

The main points of the guide can be summarised as follows:

  • According to the Guide, advertising must not exploit consumers' environmental sensitivity or lack of knowledge, which is why the misleading use of eco-labels, symbols and accreditations is prohibited.
  • General terms such as "environmentally friendly", "green", "sustainable", "eco-friendly", "nature-friendly", etc. must not be used in advertising without explanation. Consequently, clear information on such environmental claims and explanatory information on the methods used to measure or assess the environmental impact must be included in the advertising. If the channel in which the advertising is published is not suitable for providing such information, consumers should be directed to channels where they can obtain details of environmental statements and explanatory information.
  • Green claims about procedures and standards with which a good or service must comply in any case according to the relevant legislation must not be presented in advertising in a way that could create the impression that the good or service in question is superior to its competitors and equivalent products. Therefore, it is considered misleading, for example, to advertise that products have been manufactured without the use of certain substances when their use is prohibited by law or to give the impression that substances whose use is restricted have been used in smaller quantities.
  • Advertising may only contain statements about the planned future environmental impact of goods or services if these statements are contained in a publicly accessible and verifiable strategy document.
  • An advertisement should contain clear information as to whether a product is "recyclable", "degradable" or "biodegradable" and whether this refers to the whole product, including its packaging, or to part of the product. In this respect, as the guidance shows, even if a bottle is made of recyclable material except for the cap, a claim that it is fully recyclable would be considered misleading advertising.
  • Advertising should be made with a sense of responsibility towards consumers and society. Therefore, advertising that trivialises consumer behaviour, leads to pollution or excessive waste accumulation, promotes non-recyclable packaging, encourages consumers to ignore the negative impact of their actions on the environment and encourages improper waste disposal should be avoided.
  • Consumers should not be misled by statements and visual representations in advertising about the degradability of a good or its packaging to the environment, the recyclability of the good or its packaging, the production of the good or its packaging from recycled content and the use of renewable energy and recycled water in the production of the good or its packaging or the provision of the service.

As far as responsibility for compliance with the Guide is concerned, advertisers, advertising agencies and advertiser organisations are responsible separately.

Non-compliance with the rules

The Advertising Board may impose fines as suspension, correction of the advertisement with the method of advertisement or administrative fines on advertisers, advertising agencies and media organizations. These penalties may be imposed individually or together depending on the nature of the violation. An administrative fine of TRY 10,000 (ten thousand) shall be imposed if the advertisements in violation of the regulations are realized through television channels broadcasting at the local level, and TRY 200,000 (two hundred thousand) if the advertisements are realized through television channels broadcasting nationwide. If the violation subject to administrative action is repeated within one year, the Advertisement Board may impose the above-mentioned administrative fines up to ten times. In addition to these fines, if the violation is realized over the internet, the Advertisement Board may decide to block access to the publication or a section of the publication where the violation occurred. The penalties described above may also be imposed if the advertisement violating legislation constitutes an unfair commercial practice.


The prohibition of greenwashing is essential in order to promote the development of sustainability and companies that make a significant contribution to it by changing their production, often more cost-intensively than competitors, and aligning it with sustainability criteria. Moreover, consumers and consumer behaviour play an indispensable role in the sustainability development, which is why it is essential to protect them from misleading and false advertising. Considering the fact that recently the number of advertisements with environmental claims has increased significantly, it is expected that the Guide will be an extremely important resource for preventing greenwashing practices in advertising. The content of the guide is also based on international, especially European, legislation and case law.

For more information about the new Guide and its impact on your company or business, please contact your CMS partner or your local CMS expert: Dr Döne Yalçın and Taner Elmas.