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Nintendo enters Turkish games market

Nintendo has announced its entrance into the Turkish games market through an exclusive import and distribution deal with Nortec Eurasia.

Nintendo has announced its entrance into the Turkish games market through an exclusive import and distribution deal with Nortec Eurasia.

The first title to be promoted in the country will be DS title Nintendogs and the company has also hinted at a 2006 launch window for its recently unveiled next-generation console, Revolution.

The announcement comes at a pivotal point in Turkey's political and economic development, as the country begins to finalise negotiations for full membership of the European Union.

Speaking to the Turkish Daily News, Nintendo's director of marketing for Europe, Jim Merrick, said: "The Turkish economy is strong and growing, with about 15 percent of the population having enough disposable income to afford our products."

"We're an entertainment company, and it's a natural evolution to come to this market of young people, where the average age is 27 against numbers closer to 40 in Western Europe."

Apparently convinced by the Turkish authorities stance on protection of intellectual property rights, Merrick stated: "One reason we're entering the market now is that we're satisfied with steps taken by the Turkish authorities regarding the protection of intellectual property rights." Entertainment piracy has been rife in Turkey for many years, with a vast amount of imported goods from Asia and China contributing to a substantial piracy problem amongst retailers in the country.

Import and distribution company Nortec has indicated that legal firm Turhan and Turhan have been contracted to assist in the prosecution of retailers involved in selling pirated video games.

Nintendo's console hardware will retail for a much higher price in Turkey than elsewhere in Europe, which has been defended by the company on the basis of the country's higher taxes and interest rates. As an example, the Nintendo DS will retail for TRY 349 (EURO 216) as opposed to EURO 149 elsewhere in Europe.

Nintendo recently announced a price drop for the DS to coincide with the release of Nintendogs, bringing the EU retail price down to EURO 130, although this price drop does not appear to be applicable in Turkey at present. In addition, no confirmation on any difference in retail pricing for software in Turkey has been announced so far.

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