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Turkey: Nationwide Police Operation Conducted to Enforce Ban Against Smoking While Driving

(Oct. 10, 2019) As a result of a simultaneous, country-wide police operation aimed at enforcing a ban on smoking while driving in Turkey, more than 5,000 tickets were issued on September 25, 2019, to drivers smoking cigarettes in their private vehicles. The ban, which was added to the Law on the Prevention and Control of the Harmful Effects of Tobacco Products (Law No. 4207) in May 2013 (amending Law No. 6487), explicitly covers smoking while driving a private vehicle, as well as smoking in all public road, rail, sea, and air transport vehicles, including taxis. (Law No. 4207, art. 2(1)(c).)

The administrative fine for smoking while driving is 153 Turkish liras (about US$27). (Law No. 4207, art. 5 (amending Law No. 5326, Misdemeanors Law art. 39).) According to article 17 of the Misdemeanors Law, the fines prescribed therein are updated to reflect inflation every year. The revaluation rate is calculated according to the method provided in article 298(bis) of the Tax Procedure Law (Law No. 213), whereby the revaluation rate is set equal to the domestic producer price index rate of change (12-month moving average) value for the month of October (inclusive), as determined by the Turkish Statistical Institute. The revaluation rate thus calculated is published in the Official Gazette by the Ministry of Finance as a general communique. The updated administrative fines become effective on the first day of the calendar year.

The Anadolu Agency also reported that during the September 25 police operations 693 wanted criminal suspects were caught, including two who were wanted for homicide.