Raising money for charitable causes is subject to strict laws within Turkey and the penalties for breaking them are tough. So how can you raise money for charity without getting into hot water?

FETAV and the Honorary British Consul met with the press last week to raise awareness of the requirements for anyone who intends to raise money or is raising money for charitable causes.

They praised the individuals and groups who have done so much to help worthwhile causes in the area and they are encouraging more activities to take place.

But groups or individuals should ensure they are properly registered with the authorities before they begin to raise money.

Mustafa Sikman, Honorary British Consulate said “The laws on collecting money in Turkey for charities or other things are stringent. Luckily, up until now, most of the unregistered charitable events have taken place without a problem. However, these unregistered events are potentially illegal and the organisers could face heavy fines or imprisonment if a complaint is brought against them and proven in court.”

So how can you stay within the law?

One option is to set up and operate a Turkish charitable foundation. But as this is a complicated and lengthy process to set up and administer it is unlikely that all but the most dedicated people will want to do it.

The second, and easiest way, is to join with a foundation that already exists. FETAV runs and administers an ‘umbrella’ foundation under which Fethiye International Group (FIG) and The Calis Carnival operate. The board of this foundation includes the mayor of Fethiye and the area governor (Kaymakam).

Charities under FETAV are required to keep detailed accounts, hold regular management meetings and comply with the regulations of the foundation. By doing this the activities of the charities are transparent and available for public scrutiny should they be called into question.

To get registered with FETAV you should visit their offices opposite the Post Office in Fethiye and explain the causes you are planning to support, the activities you are going to carry out to ensure they are going to be legal, and the management and financial structure you will put in place.