Technology Development Zones in Turkey

A technology development zone is an academic, social and cultural site founded with the purpose of providing the opportunity for entrepreneurs, researchers and academici

Issue 23 - November 2010

With the founding of TDZs, the objective has been to obtain cooperation between universities, research institutes and corporations and manufacturing industries, thus enabling the national industry to compete internationally and to bring together an export-oriented structure; generate technology based information; develop innovations in product and production methods; raise product quality or standards; increase productivity; lower production costs; commercialize technological knowledge; support technology intense investments and entrepreneurship and provide employment opportunities to researchers and qualified individuals and thereby contribute to technology transfers.


To enable university-industry cooperation in our country,

To support the number and expansion of companies that use or generate advanced technologies,

To provide for a more productive use of existing resources or with the purpose of creating new resources, thus ensuring the environment and support in the R&D work of companies that will undertake activities in the areas of innovative and advanced technologies,

To bring together national and international companies in the advanced technology area and thereby create the mechanisms in obtaining synergy between these companies and universities,

To convert to an economic value the academic accumulation and research results at universities,

To contribute to the increase in the economic and technological levels of our country and thus raise the international competitive strength of the nation, and

To encourage the establishment of new companies or existing small enterprises that have the production potential of advanced technology and export oriented high value added and innovative products


To contribute to Turkey’s R&D potential and technology production capability,

To be one of the factors for sustainable development in Turkey,

To encourage and support entrepreneurship and innovativeness,

To contribute in directing Turkey’s technology production and accumulation with sector priorities,

To create a suitable environment for technology transfers,

To support advanced technology products and services manufacturing directed to world markets,

To make university-industry cooperation effective and continuous,

To contribute to the conversion of economic value in university research infrastructure and accumulation of knowledge,

To create employment for qualified manpower within the country,

• To create zones that will undertake high and advanced technology investments and accelerate the entry of foreign capital to the country, and

To strengthen international cooperation in R&D activities.


In accordance with Law No. 4691, the support and exemptions provided to TDZs are given under three main headings:

1) To Management Companies

Obtaining the necessary land for the establishment of TDZs and meeting part of the costs in the construction of infrastructure and administrative building that can not be met by the management company by the Ministry as assistance, where the budget allows.

The management company with the application of the said Law is exempt from all types of taxes, levies and charges in related procedures.

Within the coverage of the application of this Law, the management company is exempt from taxes in earnings made until 31.12.2013.

In TDZs where a wastewater treatment plant is operated, a wastewater fee is not collected.

2) To Entrepreneurs

Income and corporation taxpayers that operate in these zones are exempt from income and corporation taxes from programming and R&D activities that takes place exclusively in these zones until 31.12.2013.

Within this period, all delivery and services of products and system management, data management, work applications, sectoral, internet, mobile, military command and control application programming that takes place exclusively in these zones are exempt from value added tax.

The researchers, programmers and R&D personnel that work in these zones are exempt from all types of taxes related to their employment until 31.12.2013.

3) To Academic Staff

The earnings received by academic staff assigned to these zones are exempt from the coverage of university revolving capital.

Academic staff with the permission of the university management board can form a company in these zones in order to commercialize the results of their research, can become a partner in an existing company and/or can undertake management duties in these companies.

Within the coverage of this Law that came into force in 2001, by bringing together our industrialists with researchers and universities, which will enable new products and the development of production methods that is directed to technology intense production, the following results have been obtained:

Thirty eight TDZs (Six in Ankara; five in Istanbul; three in Kocaeli and in the provinces of Izmir, Konya, Antalya, Kayseri, Trabzon, Adana, Erzurum, Mersin, Isparta, Gaziantep, Eski?ehir, Bursa, Denizli, Edirne, Elaz??, Sivas, Diyarbak?r, Tokat, Sakarya, Bolu, Kütahya, Samsun, Malatya and Urfa) were established,

Twenty six TDZs have de facto started activities and the investments of the other TDZs continue,

The present situation of TDZs that are active:

The number of companies has reached 1,364,

Employed personnel is 11,918 of which 9,396 are R&D and 2,522 are support personnel,

Completed projects are 6,238,

On-going projects are 3,576,

Exports are 540 million USD,

Number of foreign companies is 53 and investments by these companies total 450 million USD, and

Patent applications made/approved are 297.

The predominant innovative industries in TDZs in order are: Software, information, electronics and advanced material technologies followed by design, nanotechnology, biotechnology, automotive, medical technologies and renewable energy.

The sectoral distribution of companies in TDZs that are conducting R&D is:

Software and Information: 61%

Electronics Industry: 9%

Defence Industry: 6%

Design: 4%

Medical and Biomedical: 2%

Advanced Materials: 2%

Telecommunications: 3%

Medicine: 3%

Automotive: 1%

Other industries: 9%