Geographical Indication Practices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Turkiye
Dr. Nese Altintas  1, *@  , Nazli Simsek  2@  
1 : The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
2 : The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
* : Auteur correspondant

According to the Turkiye's Intellectual Property Law regarding the rights trademark, geographical indications, design, patent, utility model and traditional product names are protected and thus contributes to technological, economic and social development. Turkish Patent and Trademark Agency TURKPATENT (depending on the Ministry of Industry and Technology) is responsible for the registration of geographical indications (GIs) in Turkiye.

Geographical indications registered in Turkiye; it consists of agricultural and food products, handicraft products, mining products. There are 1042 registered geographical indication products in Turkiye. 889 of these, that is 85%, are agricultural and food products. The number of registreted other products such as carpet, rug, mine etc. are 153. The number of products pending application are 777. Gaziantep has the most registered GI products in Turkiye (82 products).

There are 3 main functions of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry regarding geographical indications:

1) Technical opinion on the application file in agricultural and food products

2) Awareness studies

3) Official controls in registered agriculture and food products

As an important market device, GI could serve as a key for a strong and sustainable rural development in Turkiye. The importance of the GI as a legal tool is to protect for traditional knowledge of our country. Within the scope of awareness activities, activities are carried out for the information and promotion of registered geographical indications. For example; the title of "geographical indications" as a discipline in the journal of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (periodical), promotional films, posters, roll-ups, regional awareness events, etc.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is responsible of official controls for the registered geographical indications as regards agricultural and food products in according to the law of veterinary services, phytosanitary, and the food and feed.

Turkiye's agricultural production has increased rapidly in recent years. The increase in the income level and competitiveness of the producers has been due to the increase of awareness about the potential of geographically marked products, the modernization of agricultural enterprises and the improvement of product quality and technological developments.

Turkiye leads the world's production in dried figs, hazelnuts, sultanas and raisins, and dried apricots, and is an important producer of many other agricultural and horticultural products. Also Turkiye's registered geographical indications in the European Union (EU) are Antep Baklavası, Aydın İnciri (fig), Aydın Kestanesi (chestnut), Malatya Kayısısı (apricot), Taşköprü Sarımsağı (Garlic), Bayramiç Beyazı (peach) and Milas Zeytinyağı (olive oil). We have 28 products pending application for EU registration. These registered number will be increased. Turkiye's agricultural GI sector has a significant potential to grow because of its proximity to the EU and other major regional markets, growing domestic demand for GI products.

The main subjects and policies that Turkiye focuses on are as follows: to develop both production and consumption of GI registered products, to increase effictiveness of inspection activities and to promote international trade opportunities.

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