Computer programs as such cannot be patented, but may be protected under the Law on Artistic and Intellectual Works of 1951 as amended in 1995. According to this Law, computer programs in any form, including the preparatory material therefor if this subsequently leads to a program, may be protected as a scientific or literary work.
The following acts done without the consent of the owner of the copyright in a computer program are, among others, deemed infringement:
1) the permanent or temporary reproduction of the program, in part or in whole, by any means and in any form (in so far as loading, displaying, running, transmission or storage of the program would necessitate such reproduction, such acts shall be subject to authorization by the owner of the right);
2) the translation, adaptation, arrangement or any other alteration of the program and the reproduction of the results thereof, without prejudice to the rights of the party altering the program;
3) any form of distribution to the public, including rental, of the original program or copies of the program.
Acts as mentioned under 1) or 2) may be done without the authorization of the owner of the copyright if necessary for the use of the program by the lawful acquirer with the intended purpose, including for the correction of errors, except if prohibited by specific contractual provisions. The lawful acquirer of a computer program may not be prohibited the loading, running and correction of errors of the program. Making of a back-up copy by a person having the right to use the program may not be prohibited by contract in so far as it is necessary for that use. Furthermore, the person having a right to use a copy of a computer program is entitled without the authorization of the owner of the copyright to observe, study or test the functioning of the program so as to determine the ideas and principles underlying any element of the program if he does so while performing any of the acts of loading, displaying, running, transmitting or storing the program to which he is entitled.
Reproduction of the code and translation of the form of a computer program within the meaning of what is mentioned under 1) and 2) in the preceding paragraph, may be done without the authorization of the owner of the copyright in it, if indispensable to obtain the information necessary to achieve the interoperability of an independently created computer program with other programs, provided that a) these acts are done by the licensee or by another person having a right to use a copy of a program, or on their behalf by a person authorized to do so, b) the information necessary to achieve interoperability has not previously been readily available to such licensee or other person, and c) these acts are limited to the parts of the original program being necessary to achieve interoperability. However, the information obtained in manner as referred to in the preceding sentence may not (i) be used for purposes other than to achieve the interoperability of the independently created computer program, or (ii) be given to other parties, except when necessary for the interoperability of the independently created computer program, or (iii) be used for the development, production or marketing of a computer program substantially similar in its expression, or for any other act which infringes copyright. The provisions referred to in the preceding two sentences are to be interpreted in such manner that their application will not impair the normal exploitation of the program and will not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the holder of the right.
The term of copyright in Turkey is 70 years. Turkey is a party to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, and is bound by the text of this Convention as revised at Paris in 1971 since January 1, 1996.