Cablegate: Got's Preliminary Views for the Special 301

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: GOT's Preliminary Views for the Special 301
Review of Intellectual Property Protection

(SBU) On February 28, Oya Karakas, Head of Department in
the MFA General Directorate of Multilateral Economic
Affairs, sent Embassy the following note on intellectual
property protection in Turkey in response to the
commencement of this year's Special 301 review. MFA
acknowledges reports submitted by IIPA, IACC and PhRMA,
but states that it will submit substantive comments once
it has had the opportunity to review them in greater
detail. The MFA note acknowledges IPR enforcement
problems. Alluding to PhRMA's submission, MFA maintains
that there is a need for flexible implementation of
trade commitments affecting public health.

Begin Text MFA Reply:

No. CEGY-I 25.02.2003


Since we consider protection of intellectual property as
an important tool to encourage and promote human
creativity and productivity, we aim at meeting
international standards and fulfilling international
agreements in the area of intellectual property
protection. We also make our contribution to
international cooperation initiatives.

In this context, we do our best, within the limits of
our existing capabilities and resources, in order to
adopt relevant international agreements and create an
environment to promote foreign investments where a
certain level of intellectual property protection is
ensured. However, it is not unusual to face some
difficulties about implementation and enforcement of new
legislation. Moreover, if some commercial interests are
concerned and if some people face unemployment and short-
term losses of income in a developing economy, these
difficulties are further complicated.

So far, we have welcomed criticism brought forward by
our trade partners in the framework of our international
commitments, such as those voiced at the World Trade
Organization TRIPS Council during the review of our
legislation. In this connection, we attach utmost
importance to comments of the United States Government
and its "Special 301 Review".

In the context of, "Special 301 Review" we have had a
satisfactory level of cooperation with the US Government
up to now and we expect this to continue. We are also
pleased with the interest of the US companies and the
concerned specialized associations in the implementation
and enforcement of intellectual property protection in

After a preliminary study of the points raised by these
associations, namely IIPA, IACC and PhRMA, and their
comments mentioned in their submissions, we would like
to assure you that they will receive Turkish
Government's due consideration and our relevant
authorities will study them in detail with respect to
their technical aspects. We hope to submit our
substantial comments later after this study.
Nevertheless, we wish to present some preliminary
observations at this stage.

Regarding the comments of IIPA and IACC, we are also
aware of certain problems of implementation and
enforcement. Despite our known efforts to improve the
capacity and expertise of law enforcement authorities in
this field, still there are certain shortcomings. We
should also take into account the economic situation in
the aftermath of a severe financial crisis. Since,
immediate implications of enforcement of intellectual
property protection are unemployment and loss of income
for some segments of society, in some cases this issue
becomes very sensitive. As we all know, accommodation of
intellectual property protection and development issues
is a widespread matter of debate in various
international fora. We should also bear in mind that
some copyright violations concern educational materials
and this requires a special attention. Nevertheless, we
appreciate the relatively balanced approach of these two
associations and again we assure that these comments
will receive our due consideration and appropriate
measures will be taken accordingly.

As for the comments of PhRMA, needless to say health
issues have a special dimension in the context of
international trade regulations. Public health is such
an issue that it cannot be regulated only by trade
concerns. Special considerations of governments in
health and social policies should be given due respect.
As we know, one of the most heated debates of the WTO
Doha Development Agenda Negotiations is on this very
issue and there is a growing global concern on the
relationship between public health and intellectual
property protection.

Compared with other social policy issues, health
policies have a particular significance, since in some
cases it is a question of life and death. It is not a
surprise that health issues have a priority among others
for governments. That is especially the case for
developing countries with populations more vulnerable.
Therefore, in the context of international trade, they
require flexibility more than other trade issues.

The comments of PhRMA will also receive our due
consideration and of course appropriate measures within
the limits of possibilities will be taken accordingly.

We expect that the US Government will take into
consideration our good will on this issue prior to the
finalisation of the "Special 301 Review".

End Text.

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