Genetically Modified Organisms in Turkey


Even though Turkey has been a signatory to the United Nations Biodiversity Convention since 1997 and Cartagena Biosafety Protocol since 2004, it only enforced the Biosafety Law in 2010. Even though the Biosafety Law did not allow the production of GMO crops, it permitted their import based on certain conditions. Thirteen corn varieties to be used as animal feed were permitted (Bt11, DAS1507, DAS59122, DAS1507xNK603, NK603, NK603xMON810, GA21, MON89034, MON89034xNK603, Bt11xGA21, 59122x1507xNK603, 1507x59122 ve MON88017xMON810). Twenty one GMO corn varieties, 3 colza, 1 sugar beet and 1 potato varieties to be used as human food; 3 colza, 1 sugar beet varieties to be used as animal feed and 22 corn varieties to be used as bioethanol are awaiting approval of the Biosafety Commission. By asserting the serious and irreversible damage risks of GMOs to human, animal and environmental health and the lack of data regarding their potential risks when used as animal feed, NGOs defend the ban of their importation based on the precautionary principle.

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Basic Data
NameGenetically Modified Organisms in Turkey
SiteThe whole country
Accuracy of LocationLOW country/state level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Specific Commodities
Live Animals
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsBased on the Chamber of Agricultural Engineers, between the years 1999-2009, 20 million tons of GMO crops have been imported to Turkey. Reported to be imported from USA and Canada, these crops include soybeans, corn, rice and soy pulp.

Type of PopulationUnknown
Potential Affected Population75000000
Start Date1996
Company Names or State EnterprisesCommercial Enterprise of Turkish Feed Manufacturers Association from Turkey
Commercial Enterprise of Turkish Poultry Meat Producers and Breeders Association from Turkey
Turkish Egg Producers Association from Turkey
Relevant government actorsMinistry of Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, The Turkish Biosafety Commission
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersThe No to GMOs Platform of Turkey (a coalition of 90 some environmental, consumer and producer groups from different regions of Turkey)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
International ejos
Local ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Professional (trade) chambers
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Genetic contamination
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other environmental related diseases
OtherPotential carcinogenic and allergic effects.
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession
OtherIncome loss
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Institutional changes
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
New legislation
Application of existing regulations
Development of AlternativesAgriculture that uses permaculture, organic agriculture, good agriculture applications, local seed exchanges, seed festivals, organic market places
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Thanks to the campaigns, the shift to agriculture using genetically modified seeds has been postponed in Turkey; however, the importation of GM products to be used as animal feeds has been allowed. GMOs are still present in food for humans.
Sources and Materials

EU Regulations numbered 1946/2003 EC 2009/41 EC 1830/2003 EC 2001/18/EC 98/81/EC 1829/2003 EC

Biosafety Law numbered 5977

United Nations Cartagena Biosafety Protocol numbered 25196

United Nations Biodiversity Convention

Regulation on GMOs and GM products dated 13.08.2010 and published in Official Gazette numbered 27671

Amendment to the Regulation on GMOs and GM products dated 22.02.2012 and published in Official Gazette numbered 28212


Bogazici University Department of Economics Working Paper EC201107,
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Aydin, CI, Ozertan G, Ozkaynak B, 2011,

Should Turkey Adopt GM Crops? A Social Multi-Criteria Evaluation for the Case of Cotton Farming in Turkey,

DEMRKOL Kenan (2010) in Turkish

GDO: ada Esaret,Kaynak Yaynlar

Grnmez Elin Ekolojisi, Biyogvenlik ve GDO (2010) in Turkish

Ziraat Mhendisleri Odas ve Ekoloji Kolektifi Ortak Yayn, Ankara

ZER Kemal (2010) in Turkish

Deccal Tabakta: Siyasi, dini ve vicdan adan GDO, Hayykitap

OUZ zdemir. (2009)

Attitudes of consumers toward the effects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs): The example of Turkey

Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment, Vol.7 (3and4), July-October 2009

TOPAL eminur (2007) in Turskish

Deitirilen Gen mi Sen mi Evren mi? Yeni nsan Yaynevi

ZHAN DEDEOLU, Ayla, ve Keti VENTURA 2012

Analysis of consumer responses to health threat of genetically modified foods: A pilot study, Journal of Iktisat Isletme ve Finans Vol 27, Issue 313 35-56


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Turkiyede GDOlar ve Toplumsal Muhalefet (Turkish)
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GDOya Hayir Platformu (in Turkish)
[click to view]

Greenpeace-Med Yemezler (we aint eatin) Campaign:
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Turkiye Biyoguvenlik Bilgi Degisim

Mekanizmasi (in Turkish)

Media Links

CNN Turk News on Greenpeace Protest:
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Greenpeace protest (Video in Turkish):
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Other CommentsThe total number of directly affected population refers to the whole country population (75 million people)
Meta Information
ContributorBaris Gencer Baykan and Cem Iskender Aydin
Last update08/04/2014