Security officials and tax analysts state that about $9.5 Billion in tax revenue was lost to the Government of Turkey due to cigarette smuggling on the black market.
In January 2010, the Turkish government raised the tobacco excise tax by 30 percent, thus creating a demand for tobacco on the black market.
Back in 2007, an estimated 3.9 billion cigarettes were bought on the black market. In 2013, an estimated 16.2 billion cigarettes were bought without taxes being paid.
Customs officers seized nearly $2 Billion worth of contraband tobacco in 2013.
Over a quarter of the population in Turkey is estimated to be smokers.
Source: Tom Arnold, “Smoke and mirrors in Turkey with illicit cigarette trade,” National, May 10, 2014.