Close this search box.
Close this search box.


December 21, 2023

Concept Of Cyberbullying And A Legal Remark Around The Turkish Penalty Code Number 5237


Cyberbullying is a concept which was first described in USA in 2000 for the first time which refers to one or more people that are acting aggressive behaviour towards people who are inferior compared to them or unable to act against due to their existing situation via humiliation, defamation, abuse or scaring with using electronical communication tools within frame of either audio or visual.

Cyberbullying is observed among children and adolescents which is particularly related to the widespread and uncontrolled use of social media while its being a legal issue; it causes serious problems on the victims, resulting in psychological and social damage and suicide cases.

Cyberbullying requires sanctions in comparison to traditional bullying, which we can call bullying with its dictionary meaning; requires important academic studies and serious sanctions with its legal dimension. Therefore, it has much faster spread rates through social media interactions.


Cyberbullying is generally considered under two dimensions as electronic bullying and electronic communication bullying.

 1. Electronic Bullying

Electronic bullying are acts against law by utilizing activities such as unauthorized access to websites using technical information and infrastructure, obtaining password information of users in various social media online, stealing social media accounts, sending spam and virus-containing e-mails to users, and using other activities as tools to acquire information for achieving illegal purposes.

All of the acts that can be described as electronic bullying; Located in the 10th (tenth) section of the Turkish Penal Code No. 5237 (“TPC”) titled as “Crimes in the field of informatics”;

  • Entering Information Systems (Article 243)
  • Blocking System, Corrupting, Eradicating data or replacing (Article 244)
  • Illegal Devices or Programs (Article 245/A)

which are considered as crime based on adjudgments above.

2. Electronic Communication Bullying

Electronic communication bullying is carried out with the aim of intentionally insulting, humiliating, excluding others, threats, exposing or disturbing others by using modern communication tools unlike electronic bullying. This type of cyberbullying can be done through the internet by means of sending e-mails, sending instant messages via social media accounts, uploading videos or various images to social networks or sites, or via mobile phone with annoying phone calls.

The perpetrator who performed cyberbullying, which is the conducting electronic communication bullying within the general concept of cyberbullying, aims to harm psychologically or to damage the victim’s reputation in the society with their insistent and repetitive behaviour towards the victim who is in a weaker state.

Although electronic communication bullying is especially common among adolescents; It can also be done by unauthorized access to data storage accounts of well-known individuals such as artists, business people, politicians, by obtaining financial benefit by blackmail or blackmail after sharing content with their contacts. Within this concept; today’s social media reaches to the point where many events in daily life can reach a very large audience in a very short time, people’s attitudes, words or explanations about any event can be learned in a short time by all social media users and brings together organizations called social media liners.

Acts that are qualified as electronic communication bullying can be punished by evaluating them within the scope of one or more crimes according to the crime definitions of TPC, based on their qualifications:

  • Intentional killing (Article 81) (In case someone dies caused by virtual violence) (Article 84)
  • Torment (Article 96)
  • Threat (Article 106)
  • Discrimination (Article 122)
  • Breaking the peace and tranquility of the people (Article 123)
  • Insult or swear (Article 125)
  • Violation of the confidentiality of the communication (Article 132) (In case of monitoring the private life and interfering with the communication of the person, the content is subject to mockery)
  • Listening and recording of conversations between people (Article 133)
  • Violation of privacy’s privacy (Article 134)
  • Recording of personal data (Article 135)
  • Not destroying Data (Article 138)


Cyberbullying, as a concept brought about the widespread technology we are in, will be reduced only through the application of necessary criminal sanctions due to the potential destruction left on society. In this respect, whichever crime includes the elements of the cyber bullying which is relevant in TPC, a legal assessment should be made within this framework and a criminal procedure should be carried out by taking into account the victim.


Eren Can Ersoy

Eren Can Ersoy

Senior Lawyer