American Research Institute in Turkey



Turkish law requires foreign scholars to obtain official permission to carry out research at institutions in Turkey for each calendar year. In general, researchers should seek permission to carry out research from the director(s) of the institution(s) where they intend to work; this includes researchers who wish to work in libraries housed in Turkish museums.  

LIBRARY and ARCHIVE PERMITS: For library or archive research with tenures of less than three months, most foreign scholars may enter Turkey on a tourist visa and apply for research permission from within Turkey.  They also may choose to obtain a research visa from the Turkish Embassy in advance of their arrival.  Scholars wishing to carry out research in Turkey for terms longer than three months should apply for the research permit and in addition secure a research visa prior to entering Turkey. Non-U.S. researchers should consult the Turkish Consulate for specific procedures.

MUSEUM COLLECTIONS PERMITS: Those who wish to work in any collections in museums other than library need both a research permit and a visa. In some cases museum researchers may make use of a tourist visa (confirm with the museum director). Researchers should submit their research permit applications to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums (Kültür Varlıkları ve Müzeler Genel Müdürlüğü, or KVMGM). Applicants should send a copy of the application also to the directors of the relevant museums. To expedite the process the application should contain specific and complete information about the material for study.  In addition, if the material they wish to work with is part of an excavation, researchers must submit a letter with their application that is signed by the excavation director giving permission to carry out the research.  Names and addresses for the institutions or directorates will be provided by the Turkish Embassies and Consulates. A descriptive list of state and private museums is accessible on the website of Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The application regulations and research permit application form (.pdf format or .doc format) for researchers are posted here.   For more specific information, please contact the ARIT directors in Istanbul and Ankara.

Instructions for completing the form for the research visa are posted on the Turkish Consulate website.  On the page scroll to section labeled "Library and Museum Researchers."

Information about residence permits for long-term stays accessible on the Ministry website.

  1. Applicants should fill out the new research permit application form legibly, preferably typed.  Include a photocopy of your passport identification page. 

  2. Write a cover letter to the KVMGM explaining your project, what items you need to study (preferably with inventory numbers if possible) and where they are housed, sign and date it, and state that the application forms are attached. You may write it in English, but a letter written in Turkish will expedite the process. 

  3. Send the form and accompanying documents by mail (preferred) or fax to the KVMGM. If you wish to apply via e-mail the application forms should be sent as a document file (you may use the MSWord document attached here as a format). You should attach a scan of your signed cover letter and a scan of the photo identification page of your passport. (You do not need to sign the application form when sending it via e-mail).    

  4. You may apply from abroad or from within Turkey.  Please be advised that the application may take some time to process and it may be worth allowing several months to obtain the permit. Also please note that permissions can only be given for work within a single calendar year, so if you plan to do research that spans a calendar year, such as from November 2010 through March 2011, you may need to make a separate application for each year.
It is necessary to send a copy of the results/report of your research to the KVMGM to ensure that your file is complete, otherwise the ministry may deny your future requests for a research permit.  If you plan to use the library in a museum, you may apply directly to the museum director. 
T.C. Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı
Kültür Varlıkları ve Müzeler Genel Müdürlüğü
II.Meclis Binası Yanı
Ulus, Ankara 06100
Tel:  (90 312) 310 4960
Fax:  (90 312) 311 6603
NOTE: For specific questions on obtaining research permits for museums and archives, please contact the ARIT directors in Ankara or Istanbul.  Researchers who plan to carry out archaeological excavation and/or survey, underwater archaeology, and/or research on cadastral registers will continue to send their application forms to the Turkish Embassy Consulate nearest their location that offers the service  and in addition, submit information for the ARIT Review of applications (see archaeological excavation and survey permit procedures here).