Turkey: A piracy loving country
It is a well known secret that Turkey is no heaven for globally known brands as it is very easy to produce and sell copied products within the country. However I hadn’t guess that the situation was so bad until Business Software Alliance (BSA) issued the latest statistics. According to BSA two in three computers in Turkey runs on pirated software. TKLJ.com estimates copied, or pirated software creates a burden of around $526 million to the Turkish economy. Turkey is the only country where copied software is being used. According to IDC the usage of pirated software in other countries is as follows: China 77 percent, Japan 21 percent, Belgium 24 percent, France 37 percent, Germany 26 percent, Poland 53 percent, Romani and Russia 63 percent, Saudi Arabia 51 percent, Israel 31 percent.
However it is not enough to say that Turkey is not alone, new measures should be taken and incentives should be created to encourage people to buy original products.
BSA’s Turkey Director Semih Sağman says that they are cooperating with the police force and the Ministry of Culture to decrease the amount of piracy in the country. According to a survey done by BSA Turkey only 46 percent of the institutions which use pirated software claimed that they were not aware, the rest knew that the software they acquired was not legal.
The same survey pointed out that 45 percent of pirated software users think that using unlicensed products is a crime. The same point of view is shared by users of different products as well.
According to Havoscope.com Turkey’s black market value is at least $15.6 billion.
The Guardian estimated the counterfeit goods market in Turkey to be worth $6 billion in 2011, double the market’s 2010 value of $3 billion. Counterfeit purses are the most counterfeited product made and sold in Turkey.
The national police stated in a report that up to 2.7 million tons of counterfeit items are smuggled into Turkey each year, which results in a tax revenue loss of $2.5 billion. Statistics from the government of Turkey shows that 70.5 million liters of smuggled fuel was seized in 2010.
There are many shops right in the city center which sell pirated movies and games at one tenth of their original price.
I can not deny that it is very tempting to buy counterfeited products because most of the time, I also feel that the original doesn’t deserve the price tag. However, if we want Turkey to create new brands we must first decrease piracy to acceptable levels. Without the public acceptance of the concepts of license, copyrights and intellectual rights, it is very hard for start up companies to flourish.
It is also a deterrent for multinationals to make investments in Turkey. Who would come to invest in a country where piracy is so easy?