Copyright protection in Turkey derives from Law No. 5846
(1951) on Intellectual and Artistic Works (Fikir ve Sanat Eserleri Kanunu, FSEK)
and has been revised a few times in order to align them with WIPO standards.
Turkey is a party to the Berne Convention, the Rome Convention and the TRIPS
Agreement. Turkish copyright law was made compliant with these treaties after
its 1995 and 2001 amendments. Draft Law Amending Certain Articles of Law No:
5846 have been completed in order to accomplish full harmonization with the EU
Acquis but it is still in the queue of Turkish Parliament for approval.
The Directorate-General for Copyrights in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is
responsible for the registration of copyrights and has provides improved online
services for this purpose.
According to the Law, an intellectual and artistic product is defined as that
bearing the characteristics of its owner and which is considered a work of
science and literature, music, fine arts or cinema. (Article. 1/B-a ) It should
be “original” and “bearing creative characteristics of its creator” (subjective
The right to operate a work belongs exclusively to original work owner. The
moral rights granted to the owner of work under the Law are authority to present
to the public, the authority to state the name, prohibition of changes on the
work and the rights of the owner of the Work against the possessor and the owner.
If in addition to breach of moral rights of the owner of the work, the personal
rights of the owner have also been violated, moray indemnity can also be claimed.
Turkey's copyright law comprises several stringent anti piracy provisions, which
include a ban on street sales of all copyrighted products and authorization for
law enforcement authorities to take action without a complaint by the rights
holder. The law establishes serious penalties i.e. three months to six years
imprisonment and/or a fine.
Filing A Copyright In Turkey
Copyright is automatically obtained in Turkey when the author has created the
work. Therefore, any creative works enjoy natural protection where it is created
and therefore it is not obligatory to register the work to have protection and
as well exercise the copyright on the work in Turkey.
However, Turkey is providing possibility of discretionally registering the
creative works in the Copyrights Registry to allow the creator to provide
evidence that the work recorded in the registry has been originally created by
him/her. In this regard, the registry is not for protection as well as has no
right-constitutive function but only serving as a declaratory method to easily
determine and prove the holder of the creative work. From this point of view, it
is advisable to register the creative works for easily proving the ownership of
the related works.
Application for a voluntary registration can be filed by only author himself/herself
but not any legal entity.
The following information and documents are required:
- Power of Attorney legalized by apostil (a draft PoA enclosed).
- Representations of artwork (by electronic media, at least 600 Dpi)
- Author’s details (name/surname, birth date, address, phone number, e-mail)
- Applicant details if the applicant is other than author (full company title,
birth date, address, phone number, e-mail) and authorized signatory list of the
- Undertaking signed by the applicant (provided during the filing process)
Specific to recording the software in the copyright registry, it is required to
submit the source codes of the software in a certain format provided by the
Copyright Registry Office.
If no deficiency is raised by the Office after filing the request for
registration, the registration is expected within one month after submitting all
the required documents and information duly. After duly registering the work, a
certificate is issued valid for 4 years and it is possible to renew the
certificate after 4 years. The certificates are issued in the name of author and