The domain names ".istanbul" and ".ist" are now available for public use on a first-come-first-served basis. The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality provides the domain names via a range of accredited local and international registry operators, for one year minimum registration periods. Istanbul joins cities with similar geographic domains such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Rome, and Tokyo.
The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality applied to The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") in 2012 to establish specific domains for Istanbul and an agreement was ultimately signed in September 2014. Accordingly, ".istanbul" became a Top Level Domain (TLD) and ".ist" became a Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) on the domain name server from July 2015. The domains are expected to be used by parties seeking to emphasise their project or trademark's link to Istanbul.
The domains were first available in January 2016 as part of a pre-application period, open to global trademarks certified within the scope of ICANN's Trademark Creating House Program.
The pre-application period expired in March 2016 and a restricted application period began. During the restricted application stage, applications were accepted from public institutes, companies, non-governmental organizations, associations and individuals operating in Turkey. The restricted application period expired on 10 May 2016 and the domain names are now open for individual applications.
For more information and access to the authorised registry operators, please visit nic.istanbul.
Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.