National Artificial Intelligence Strategy from Ethical and Legal Aspects

Presidential Circular No. 2021/18 announced Turkey’s national artificial intelligence strategy for 2021 through 2025 on 20 August 2021.

The strategy, prepared by the Presidency’s Office of Digital Transformation and the Ministry of Industry and Technology, covers education, R&D studies, international collaborations, employment and professions, the transformation of institutions and companies, and ethical and legal aspects of the matter.

Ethical Aspects

Ethically, the human-oriented and trustworthy artificial intelligence approach stands out. This approach bases its foundation on principles set by OECD, G20, EU, and UNESCO.

In line with these principles, Turkey has also adopted trustworthy and accountable artificial intelligence values, which are mainly:

  • Human rights,
  • Democracy,
  • The rule of law, and
  • Protection of the environment and biological ecosystem.

Based on these values, the ethical principles are as follows:

  • Proportionality,
  • Safety and security,
  • Impartiality,
  • Privacy,
  • Transparency and explainability,
  • Responsibility and accountability,
  • Data sovereignty, and
  • Multi-stakeholder governance.

These values and principles are in harmony with universal ethical principles, and data sovereignty is relatively new. This principle aims to protect the rights of sovereign states arising from international law in data management. So, to implement this principle effectively, we should balance international data-sharing policies and make technically viable regulations regarding data privacy, data security, and cloud computing, considering the specific rules of cyberspace.

Legal Aspects

The main legal goal of the artificial intelligence strategy is regulating to accelerate socioeconomic adaptation.

In line with this goal, the strategy envisages that the rule-makers formulate legal regulations considering international regulations. While regulations must be compatible with international regulations, we should also consider the software and IT dimensions of the issue, and technical infrastructure and protocols should support legal rules. Thus, we should ensure that the regulations are also technically applicable.

In parallel with this, the strategy considers in-service training for practitioners to raise awareness about artificial intelligence technologies. Thus, preparing the judiciary and public authorities for artificial intelligence-related disputes that may arise until we have legal regulations in place may prevent potential rights violations or prolonged disputes. In this respect, the primary focus areas are:

  • Intellectual property,
  • Protection of personal data, and
  • Criminal and legal liabilities.

Suggestions for Legal Policies

In addition to the goals and strategies mentioned above, we think legal policy studies should consider the below matters as well in the medium and long terms:

  • Adopting new approaches in legal education in line with technological developments,
  • In connection with the use of artificial intelligence in legal services, determining the professional and ethical rules, confidentiality obligations, and the limits of the use of such technology,
  • Regulating the forensic IT practice in line with technological developments, and
  • Examining the effects of the increasing use of artificial intelligence in business life on workers’ rights.

Av. Müge Önal Başer, LL.M., LL.B.



  1. Presidential Circular No. 2021/18 on the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy (2021-2025) published in the Official Journal dated 20 August 2021 and numbered 31574.
  2. Ulusal Yapay Zekâ Stratejisi 2021-2025, (last visited 18 September 2021).
  3. Önal Başer, Müge: “Law Technologies,” March 2019,
  4. Yapay Zekâ Çağında Hukuk, İstanbul, Ankara ve İzmir Baroları Çalıştay Raporu 2019, (last visited 18 September 2021).