Last Update: December 2020
Covid-19 update: Turkey is open for overseas productions, and filming permits can be obtained without a travel restriction.
There is no neccesity of taking a Covid-19 test coming into the country; however, departing country's rules apply when returning back from Turkey. Private Covid-19 test centers are widely available, including one located at Istanbul Airport.
As of December 2020, current measures in order to fight Covid-19 are as follows:
- Curfew between 9pm - 5am on weekdays. (Tourists are exempt)
- Curfew from Friday 9pm until Monday 5am. (Tourists are exempt)
- Restaurants are only available for delivery.
Filming in Turkey can be a little challenging especially if your crew is not speaking Turkish. You'll often have to deal with the language barrier while getting the consent of local authorities and doing some necessary paperwork.
This is where we step in and make things easier for you. We are Fixer in Turkey, a video production company in Turkey and we also provide full spectrum production services in Turkey including support with film permits.
Our services in Turkey include:
- Filming and stills photography permissions all around Turkey
- Location Scouting / Management
- Production coordination, scheduling and budgeting
- Sourcing local camera and stills photography crews
- Finding local casting and talents
- Providing transportation, accommodation and on location support.
You can contact us here!
If you are a production house, TV Network or a filmmaker, below you will find the answers of some very common questions regarding filming permits and production related topics for filming in Turkey.
Who should apply for a filming permit?
Companies or individuals visiting Turkey for filming a feature/short film, commercial, documentary, TV Show, music or corporate video and online content need to apply for a general filming permit in Turkey.
If you are a foreign journalist visiting Turkey for news coverage, you should apply for a temporary press accreditation instead.
If you are visiting Turkey for photography productions, the permits will be obtained directly through "Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism" offices. Each city in Turkey has it's own office; finding right contacts and communication will require local help, so please contact us and we will be happy to work with you.
What do I need before applying for a filming permit?
First thing to do before applying for a general filming permit is to get in touch with a local fixer or production company to assist and accompany you with your filming in Turkey. Turkish Cinema Department states that "it is obligatory to have at least one host who is a citizen of the Turkish Republic" to apply for a filming permission.
The local fixer deals with the authorities on your behalf, provides production services such as researching, scouting and securing locations, sourcing local crew, cast, equipment, transportation or accommodation. We are always here to help, so please contact us!
Once you have your local production partner, you can move on to gathering the necessary documents for the application. These will be:
- Passport copies: Copy of passports for each crew member traveling to Turkey.
- Synopsis: A single page document clearly stating the content of your project. This document should be available both in English and Turkish.
- Film script: Only Required if you are shooting a feature/short film or TV series.
- Equipment list: If you are bringing your equipment into Turkey, you will need to provide a simple kit-list.
- Documents of local production partner: These documents must include job status certificate and Turkish ID copy of your local producer.
How can I submit my general filming permit application?
To speed up the process, we strongly recommend your local production partner to fill out, submit and follow up on the application on behalf of you. This approach is also advised by the film office.
How much does it cost to obtain filming permits in Turkey?
General filming permit is free of charge. However, location fees may apply depending on the location of your shoot.
Even though most of the public locations in Turkey are free of charge to shoot, locations below may require
- Iconic and historic areas of Istanbul
- Ancient sites, landmarks, museums or national parks of Turkey
- Private locations
We have long time experience dealing and securing locations for you, so let us know how we can help.
How long does it take to obtain film permits?
With our help, it usually takes up to 7 days to receive general filming permits. However, we always recommend to apply 2 to 3 weeks in advance of filming; since obtaining general filming permit does not mean you can start filming right away. There will be second or sometimes third layer of local authorities to give their consent depending on your particular filming locations. We will deal with these locations and authorities on your behalf.
Do I need film visa for Turkey?
Once your project receives a general film permit, the foreign production crew can apply for filming visa through the nearest embassy or consulate of Turkey in their home country.
Filming visa for Turkey is a special class visa application which is only issued through the embassies or consulates of Turkey. This class of visa can not be issued at the airports or borders of Turkey.
As of October 2019, the documents necessary to apply film visa are:
- Copy of general filming permit
- Original passport of the crew member(s)
- Passport sized photo
- Visa application form
- Bank receipt of visa application fee's (the payment methods may change depending on the country of application)
The required documents to apply for a filming visa may vary depending on the applicants country of origin, so we advise you to call the nearest Turkish embassy before your application.
We recommend to prepare the visa documents and get an appointment even before your filming permit is issued, since you will most likely run into a tight schedule.
How can I bring my filming equipment into Turkey?
Any professional filming equipment that you are bringing into Turkey should be declared at the Turkish customs office of your arrival and departure airports. Turkey is a member of ATA Carnet system, a document that allows you to temporarily bring filming equipment into the country, tax and duty free.
However, if you are looking to bring the minimum, we can always assist you to hire filming equipment in Turkey.
Our local ENG crew in Istanbul conducted a remote shoot on behalf of Al Jazeera, for a documentary piece which is covered on the show "The Listening Post".
Our local crew has filmed inside Ataturk Olympic Stadium for Playstation 5 reveal video for the UEFA Champions League. The aerial and ground footage we have filmed were used as part of the promotion of the Playstation 5 in Europe.
We have conducted another remote shoot, this time for E! Entertainment Brazil. We have filmed with Fluvia Lacerda during her visit in Istanbul. The director and the production house was remotely on board through Zoom app, so they could direct the shoot all the way from Brazil.
We have put together a remote filming crew for our UK based client and filmed Cummins engine powered bus fleets in Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara. In these tough times during pandemic, our dedicated crews are available for remote filming all accross Turkey.