Turkey Country Drug Report 2018

Drug laws and drug law offences

National drug laws

The Turkish Penal Code, which was updated in 2014, with further adjustments in 2015, specifies prison sentences of two to five years for those who use drugs or buy, receive or possess drugs for personal use. There is also the option of treatment and/or probation of up to three years, although, since 2014, probation as an alternative to prison cannot be used more than once. If drug users refuse treatment or do not comply with their probation requirements, the courts can impose a prison sentence. In 2016, it was clarified that no punishment will apply if a dependent user requests treatment before investigation; in such cases, healthcare professionals are not obliged to report the offence.

The production and import or export of drugs are punishable by a prison sentence of 20-30 years, and sale or supply by a sentence of not less than 10 years, or not less than 15 years if drugs are supplied to a minor. In this case, punishments are linked to drug type, with a specific requirement to increase these sentences by 50 % if the drugs involved are cocaine, heroin, morphine or morphine base, or synthetic cannabinoids; a similar increase is imposed in cases in which a group of people is involved or in which those convicted held positions that are regulated by law, such as doctors, pharmacists, health officers, etc. If organised crime is involved, the penalty is doubled.

Since 2015, seven generic groups of substances have been added to the main drug control law, which covers the trafficking of new psychoactive substances in Turkey.


Drug law offences

Drug law offence (DLO) data are the foundation for monitoring drug-related crime and are also a measure of law enforcement activity and drug market dynamics; they may be used to inform policies on the implementation of drug laws and to improve strategies.

The statistical data on DLOs in Turkey indicate a slight increase in reported DLOs in 2016. Most of the offences reported were related to drug use or possession.


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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.