Turkey Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from Turkey’s black market. Intelligence and security information collected from government agencies, news articles and other public data sources.

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.

An organized crime ring in Turkey was broken up by police for selling counterfeit drugs to patients in Turkey and the United States. The ring was packaging flu medicine that was worth $1.34 (3 Turkish Lira), and selling the medicine as fake cancer drugs to cancer patients for $671 (1,500 Lira). The sellers would track cancer patients and approach them outside hospitals and were even able to get their counterfeit drugs into pharmacies.

Security officials in Turkey has seized approximately 2 million packages of counterfeit drugs between 2010 and 2012. The value of the fakes were worth $2.6 Million (6 Million Liras). 750 websites were shut down during the time period for selling counterfeit drugs in Turkey.

Most of the fake medicines are sold on the Internet or on the black market by relatives. Counterfeits have also been able to enter the pharmacy supply chain. In February 2013, counterfeited versions of the cancer drug Avastin was bought in Turkey and then shipped across the Middle East and Europe.

Source:   “Turkey fights back against counterfeit medications,” Jornal of Turkish Weekly, January 18, 2014.

According to media reports, the price to buy a tablet of Captagon in Syria is between $5 to $20.

The market for Captagon in the Middle East has increased in recent years as the war in Syria has continued. Criminal justice officials believe that Syria produced the most Captagon tablets in 2013, surpassing Lebanon as the main producer of the amphetamine tablet in the Middle East.  Drug traders estimate that up to 90 percent of the production in Lebanon has decreased as the production moved into Syria.

(Methamphetamine facts about users and abuse.)

However, the trafficking of Captagon pills is still high in Lebanon. Security forces seized over 12.3 million pills in 2013, with most of the large busts taking place in areas near the border of Syria.

In May 2013, Turkish security seized 7 million Captagon pills that were on its way to Saudi Arabia, with Turkish security agencies stating that the pills were made in Syria.

In December 2013, police in Dubai seized a record 4.6 million Captagon pills.

Source:  Stephen Kalin, “Insight: War turns Syria into major amphetamines producer, consumer,” Reuters, January 12, 2013.


According to user submitted information, prostitutes in Turkey charge $30 for an hour of service, and to $100 for the night.

In the larger metropolitan areas such as Ankara, Izmir and Istanbul, the rate for the prostitute increases. Sex workers in those areas are able to charge up to $500 per night for VIP services.

(Additional prostitution sex prices worldwide.)

Source:  User Submitted Data to Havocscope, received on November 12, 2013.

Additional prostitution stats and prices available in our ebook:

Police in Turkey broke up an organ trafficking ring that was operating across the country. According to media reports, the traffickers were purchasing livers and kidneys for $10,000 (20,000 Turkish Liras) from people who wanted to sell their organs. The gang found these sellers through postings on the Internet.

The traffickers would then take the organs and sell them to medical patients who needed the organs. These patients paid up to $20,000 (40,000 Liras), giving the traffickers a $10,000 profit.

(More black market organ prices.)

Source:  “Twenty-six alleged organ trafficking gang members detained in Turkey,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 9, 2013.

Based upon reports and figures collected by a non-governmental organization, there are around 118,000 women and girls working as prostitutes in Turkey.

The NGO stated that the majority of the prostitutes are street workers. Over 100,000 females work as street prostitutes across Turkey, with half of the females being children.

In addition to the street, there are 15,000 prostitutes who are officially registered with the government, and an additional 3,000 prostitutes working in brothels located in 55 of the 81 provinces of Turkey. There are reports of women working in the brothels until the age of 60.

(Number of prostitutes in the world by country.)

Source:  “Over 100,000 sex slaves in Turkey, half are children: NGO,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 5, 2013.

The Turkish Pharmacologists Association takes between 2 to 30 days to import cancer treatment drugs for over 30,000 patients each month. Due to this delay, a black market managed by hospital staff has developed in hospitals across Turkey.

According to media reports, the cancer treatment drug Deticene normally costs $27 (52 Turkish Liras). If a patient wanted to quickly purchase this drug on the black market, then the price for the drug is $482 (900 Liras). The leukemia treatment drug Purinethol is normally priced at $4.83 (9 Liras), but was being sold by illegal vendors for $64 (120 Liras).

(More abuse statistics and facts about prescription drugs.)

Source:  “Lack of cancer medicine leads to black market,” Hurriyet Daily News, May 28, 2013.

The Turkish Government losses $2.5 Billion (4.5 Billion Turkish Liras) in tax revenue each year due to cigarette smuggling activities, according to the Confederation of Turkish Craftsmen and Tradesmen.

Out of all cigarette packages smoked in the country, one out of every five packages are smuggled into the country. In the southeast region of Turkey, the smuggling rate increases to one in two cigarette packs.

Back in 2010, an estimated $1 Billion was lost to the illegal tobacco trade.

Source:  “Huge tax revenue lost in cigarette smuggling,” Hurriyet, January 8, 2013.

An international human smuggling ring was broken up by Europol in November 2012 that was smuggling people from Iran in to various countries of the European Union.

According to criminal justice officials, the human smugglers were charging migrants $$23,315 (€18,000) to be transported by car from Iran into Turkey and Greece, where the migrants would then move across the EU.

Source:  “Iranian human smuggling ring busted in Europe,” Kuwait News Agency, November 27, 2012.

According to news reports, the price of a kidney sold on the black market in India is around $1,000 (55,000 Indian Rupees). In India, the prison term for illegally selling a kidney is five years in prison.

In Romania and Moldova, the price to purchase a black market kidney is $2,700. In Turkey, the price of the kidney goes up to $10,000.

See more organ trafficking prices on the black market.

Source:  Peter Hummel, “Kidneys on special offer,” Deutsche Welle, July 31, 2012.