When travelling to a relatively unknown country, it is vital to take the time to get to know the rules and regulations you will be faced with at your destination's airport customs. Turkey is no different. While many of the regulations may be similar to U.S. regulations, it is worth considering the differences, especially the harsher punishments sometimes dished out to foreign nationals who break the rules.
Travellers commonly import and export alcohol when travelling between countries. Turkey's alcohol import regulations allow anyone entering the country to bring 0.7 litres of spirits or wine.
Turkish import laws are fairly generous when it comes to tobacco. Whereas some Eastern European and Western Asian countries are not keen on large amounts of foreign tobacco entering their borders, Turkey allows 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars, or 200 grams of tobacco. In addition, 400 more cigarettes, an additional 100 cigars and 50 grams of extra pipe tobacco may be purchased upon arrival in Turkey, as long as they are purchased from the airport's duty free facilities.
Turkey is reasonably open towards foreign nationals bringing perfume into the country, but it limits the number to five bottles per person and these bottles cannot exceed 120ml.
Gifts and Expensive Goods
If you wish to bring a gift into Turkey, it is limited to a value of EUR265 ($328).
If you want to bring extremely valuable items into Turkey, be prepared to register them on your passport upon arrival. Any items valued at more than £9,750 must be registered to your passport to be checked when you exit the country. The rules are the same if you wish to bring antiques or other valuable items into Turkey.
Contact the Turkish Embassy (linked in the resources section) to clarify items that can be brought into the country duty-free.
Regardless of the nature of your sharp implement (it could be something as innocuous as a knitting needle or tent peg) you will not be allowed to enter the country with it in your luggage. You can contact the Turkish Embassy to request special permission to bring the implement into Turkey; this is the only way you will be allowed to pass through customs.
Marijuana is illegal in Turkey. A Turkish national can be imprisoned for six months for simply carrying a small amount on the street. The punishment for a foreign national attempting to bring it into the country can be much worse.
Needless to say, more serious drugs than marijuana will carry an even heavier punishment for anyone foolish enough to try to sneak them through Turkish customs. The penalty for carrying Class A drugs into the country can be up to 20 years imprisonment.
If you need to take medicinal drugs into Turkey, check the regulations regarding your specific drug and whether you will be required seek out special permission to enter the country with it.
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