Ergun Özsunay


Since 1980, the Turkish economy has gradually gained a liberal character through the elimination of government intervention in the economy and the removal of exchange restrictions and customs barriers. These changes in economic policy are related to Turkey's desire to foster closer economic links with the European Union (“EU” or “Community”). Relations between Turkey and the European Union take place within the framework of an Association Agreement (“Ankara Agreement”). The Ankara Agreement was signed on September 12, 1963, and became effective on January 1, 1973. The Ankara Agreement provides the possibility of Turkey's eventual membership in the European Union. Undoubtedly, relations with the European Union have had an important impact on recent reforms in the fields of intellectual and industrial property rights in Turkey. Following Turkey's application for full Community membership, the necessity for reform in the field of trademark law, as in other fields of intellectual and industrial property rights, has become an important issue for the country. This Article summarizes the current Turkish trademark laws, and discusses their harmony with EU trademark law.