Civil or criminal? Fighting counterfeiting in Turkey


As in many countries, manufacturing, selling, and distributing counterfeit products is considered a crime in Turkey, as well as a tort. Brand owners can challenge counterfeiters by initiating civil and/or criminal actions.

Turkish law does not provide ex officio criminal measures where the administration or the public prosecution may act on behalf of trademark owners, as occurs in several countries. Therefore, Turkish law encourages brand owners to be more active in their fight against counterfeiting.

As the law provides a dual mechanism, brand owners often question the effectiveness of the alternatives and wish to adopt the approach which proves the most effective. Effectiveness may be measured in terms of time, cost and reduction of counterfeit activity.

When determining the appropriate course of action, the aims of the brand owner, the amount or extent of counterfeit products in Turkey, the size of the counterfeiter’s business and where it is located should be taken into account.

Counterfeit, brand owners, Turkey, IP