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Penalties for Drug Offenses
Last Updated January 04

Penalties for violating Turkish laws, even unknowingly, can be severe. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Turkey are particularly strict, and convicted offenders should expect jail sentences with heavy fines. 

In narcotics cases, prison-sentencing standards are set administratively according to the guidelines included below. While the Embassy is permitted to provide basic diplomatic and consular protections to incarcerated Americans, Consular Officers cannot interfere with the Turkish legal system (please refer to Embassy Ankara circular on ASSISTANCE TO INCARCERATED AMERICANS) for further information regarding incarceration. 

If you are convicted on narcotics charges, you may face the following sentences under several Articles of the Turkish Penal Code. These regulations are subject to change at any time.

Article # 403: 

  1. Whoever produces or imports narcotics without a license or in violation of a license is sentenced to 10-20 years of imprisonment,
  2. Whoever exports items mentioned under item 1 above is sentenced to 6-12 years of imprisonment and a penalty fee for each gram of the substance,
  3. Whoever exports after producing or importing these substances gets imprisonment under items 1 and 2 above,
  4. If imprisonment is already served outside of Turkey, it is deducted from the actual imprisonment period,
  5. Whoever sells narcotic drugs without or contrary to a license, or puts on sale, buys, or keeps in his/her possession or somewhere else, transfers or receives free of charge, ships or transports or mediates in the sale, purchase, transfer or procurement in any way is sentenced to 4-10 years of imprisonment,
  6. If the narcotics referenced in the preceding paragraphs are heroin, cocaine, base morphine or morphine, the punishment given to the perpetrator is doubled,
  7. If the offenses described in the preceding paragraphs are committed by perpetrators who form or lead an organization or by members of such organizations, punishment shall be increased by one-half,
  8. If these crimes are committed jointly by more than one person who has no organization or by those who have made such crimes a profession, trade or a means of making a living, punishment shall be increased by one-third,
  9. Whoever uses a minor under age 18 or a person who has no criminal liability in committing these offenses, punishment shall be increased by one-sixth,
  10. Whoever forms an organization with the purpose of committing the offenses mentioned above or participates in such activities shall be punished for 5-10 years of heavy imprisonment,
  11. Conspiracy of 2 or more people to commit such offenses is considered an organization,
  12. Whoever buys these drugs by using a false prescription shall be punished for 1-3 years and a penalty fee.

Article # 404:

  1. Whoever facilitates a person's use of drugs by providing a special place or in another way and those who give them to minors, mentally incapacitated or to an addict shall be punished under items 5 and 6 of Article 403 and imprisonment will be increased by one-sixth,
  2. Whoever uses or keeps them in his possession is sentenced to 1-2 years of imprisonment,
  3. Drug addicts who apply to official agencies and request treatment prior to any investigation being started shall not be punished,
  4. A person considered an addict shall be kept and treated at a hospital until it is medically ascertained that the individual has recovered. The Court can decide for treatment of the individual at a hospital at any stage of the trial.

Article # 405:

  1. Anyone who participates in the crimes noted under Articles 403 and 404 but voluntarily provides officials critical information that alerts them to the crimes and leads to the apprehension of accomplices, and confiscation of the drugs may be found immune from prosecution.
  2. Whoever discloses the crime or facilitates in locating the criminals after officials have initiated an investigation shall be punished by one-half of the respective imprisonment given.

Article # 406:

  1. If the offenses under Article 403 and first paragraph under Article 404 are committed by a physician, veterinarian, chemist, dentist, pharmacist, midwife, nurse, or managers, punishment shall be increased by one-half. The perpetrator shall be permanently or temporarily removed from his or her position of public trust.
  2. If the same offenses are committed in public areas or in any kind of public transportation means by the owners or employees thereof or by government officers through misuse of their office or authority, punishment shall be increased by one-third.