Artists and culture professionals are considered as “service suppliers” according to World Trade Organization (WTO) General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Accordingly, all measures affecting trade in services are covered by GATS, which includes visa measures. If and where Members of the WTO undertook commitments regarding artist and culture professionals (would generally be referred under the category of independent professionals), the visa exemptions and/or market access conditions are set in Members specific commitment lists.
If and where Members of the WTO undertook commitments regarding artists and culture professionals, all measures affecting trade in services, including visa measures, shall be administered reasonably, objectively, and impartial.
Apart from WTO GATS Agreement, Turkey has signed Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with its trading partners where greater market opening and facilitative disciplines on visa and work permit applications for all services suppliers are requested. Turkey has signed FTAs with such facilitative disciplines as EFTA, Bosna and Herzegovina, Serbia, and South Korea. Turkey does not have any commitments regarding the independent professionals (including artists and culture professionals) either under the WTO GATS Agreement or under its FTAs. Nevertheless, the facilitative disciplines that Turkey has developed under the Movement of Natural Persons Annexes of its FTAs are applied regardless of market access commitments undertaken under these agreements. On the other hand, during the 8th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), it has been decided that WTO Members may grant preferential trade in services market access and develop facilitative elements for Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The decision is commonly referred to as LDC Services Waiver.
Turkey has been one of the first countries to improve its services commitments for LDCs in the context of this LDC Services Waiver. Accordingly, Turkey has granted a work permit exemption for those who will come to Turkey temporarily for less than one month for the purpose of cultural and artistic activities. Foreigner’s applications for a visa to participate in the mentioned international culture and arts organisations are facilitated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Offices abroad if necessary documents are provided with the application. However, per Article 87 of the Act of Fees No. 492, foreign nationals coming to Turkey on the occasion of national or international history, culture, fine arts festivals, festivals, sports competitions, congresses, business conferences, exhibitions, and fairs can be granted a visa without any fees.
Furthermore; various international organizations are carried out, and/or support is provided by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Development Agencies, Culture and Art Civil Society Organizations, and Private Culture and Art Organizations. Within the scope of these events, artists of different nationalities from various countries of the world come together.
- CONTEMPORARY İSTANBUL
- ISTANBUL JAZZ FESTIVAL
- ISTANBUL FILM FESTIVAL
- ISTANBUL MUSIC FESTIVAL
- AKBANK JAZZ FESTIVAL
- AKBANK SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
- ANTALYA FILM FESTIVAL
Public and private sector organizations operating in the field of culture and arts support the mobility of the artists –inward & outward- through international exhibitions, festivals, days and weeks, and shows they organize. On the one hand, bringing together art lovers in the country with expressions with various cultures through artists from different fields from abroad enables our artists to present their own expressions in different branches of art to audiences with different cultures through the organizations they attend abroad.