Filming in Turkey
If you're planning to do a photographic or film shoot (any kind of shoot) in Turkey, it's a good idea to be prepared in advance.
Whether it's a documentary, a news report, a commercial, a fashion shoot or a movie, you'll need to have the correct paperwork to hand at all times. The Turkish authorities will expect you to have all the right permits.
There's generally two types of permit. One general permit, which will covers city streets and most public locations. Then, there's a second type of permit that's site specific. This is required for palaces, museums, national parks, archaeological sites and other private insitituions. Each specific location will have their own rules, for example, they may only allow filming on certain days of the week or at certain times. There are often fees to pay. The actual charge can vary from place to place and project to project.
For the general filming permit, you can apply through your country's Turkish embassy or consulate. You'll need to provide:
- Names, contact details, occupations and passport numbers for all the crew and production team travelling to Turkey
- Details of flights, airport you're arriving into, dates of travel
- Detailed list of technical equipment to be used by the crew
- Short synopsis of the project. This should include the name of the broadcaster, publication or client. It should also provide a comprehensive list of all the cities and locations in Turkey to be visited.
- Name and address of the Turkish fixer or company that will act as your advisor/guide whilst you are in Turkey.
Once you've submitted your application for a filming permit, it' can take up to three weeks for your paperwork to come through
Most people choose to hire a professional 'fixer in Turkey' or 'production company' to handle all the permits. Working with someone that speaks the language, understands the system and knows the officials in each place can really make a difference. The Turkish fixer can apply directly to the Turkish Ministry in Ankara on your behalf and negotiate with specific locations to speed the process up.
With the correct paperwork and a good fixer or production company to guide you, getting a filming permit in Turkey can be a very smooth and straight forward process. Everything is possible in Turkey.
Once you've got your permits, it's a good idea to sort out your filming visas. This type of visa costs a bit extra and since it is issued by the Turkish Embassy in your country of origin, so you'll need to allow some time to get them processed.
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