Turkey Country Drug Report 2019

Drug laws and drug law offences

National drug laws

The Turkish Penal Code specifies prison sentences of 1-2 years for those who buy, receive, cultivate or possess drugs for personal use. There is also the option of treatment and/or probation of up to 3 years. If drug users refuse treatment or do not comply with their probation requirements, the courts can impose a prison sentence. 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 not less than 10 years, and sale or supply by a sentence of 5-15 years. 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 hold a position that are regulated by law, such as doctors, pharmacists or other health professionals. If organised crime is involved, the penalty is doubled.

Since 2015, seven generic groups of substances have been included in 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 data on DLOs in Turkey indicate a significant increase in the number of DLOs reported in 2017 compared with the previous year (45 %). The majority of 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.