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Can I Bring a Drone to Turkey? (Read This First)

Drones are becoming global in terms of their use, and there are a lot of different countries that are adopting drone laws so that they can regulate the rising use of drones within their borders. If you are planning a trip to Turkey and you are thinking of carrying your drone with you to take aerial shots of the incredible sights there, that might sound like a good idea. But first, you want to find out if it’s legal to bring your drone to Turkey.

You can bring a drone with you to Turkey, but if you are a foreign national and your drone weighs over 500 g, you will first need to apply for technical confirmation from the Turkish DGCA to avoid having it confiscated at customs. Drones weighing less than 500 g can be brought in without this. 

When it comes to bringing and flying a drone in Turkey, there are some rules that you still need to consider and some things that you need to know so that you won’t come in blind. Read on to find out more about the things that you have to keep in mind and to know before you attempt to bring a drone with you on your next vacation to Turkey.

Can I bring a drone to Turkey?

One country that is an extremely popular tourist destination is Turkey, an amazing place to visit. The rich history, and enchanting sights and sounds you can find in this nation, and the diverse people and food traditions in Turkey make it unforgettable.

So, you might be thinking of going to Turkey on your next vacation. Of course, if you have a drone, you are now thinking that you would like to carry it with you to be able to take some aerial shots as stunning as the place you are visiting. But, with that said, can you actually bring a drone to Turkey?

You’ll be happy to know that drone flying in Turkey is legal. That means that you can bring your drone with you to Turkey, and even find some great places to fly it without worrying about having your drone confiscated or facing fines or penalties. 

However, keep in mind that, while flying a drone there may be legal, it doesn’t mean you can fly wherever and whenever you want. There are rules and regulations that you need to be aware of and follow when you are flying your drone there. There are still limits to what you can do with your drone, and you need to know what those limits are before you take your drone to Turkey.

What are the general rules regarding drone flight in Turkey?

As mentioned, you can bring your drone to Turkey on your next vacation because drone flying in Turkey is completely legal. However, you still need to know the rules, regulations, and procedures to follow when you want to fly your drone in Turkey. 

You also have to know that there are certain procedures that you need to follow to bring your drone into the country. Here are the general rules when it comes to flying a drone in Turkey:

  • You should never fly your drone over people or large crowds in Turkey. That means that you should only fly it when both the sky and the area under the drone are completely open and free.
  • You are not allowed to fly your drone higher than 400 feet (120 meters) while you are in Turkey.
  • It is important that you respect the privacy of other people when you are flying your drone in Turkey.
  • It is illegal for you to fly your drone over airports or in the areas where there are aircraft that are operating.
  • It is only allowed for you to fly your drone during the daylight hours and when the weather conditions are right for flying. As such, you won’t be able to fly your drone during the night or when the weather isn’t good enough for your drone.
  • You are not allowed to fly your drone in areas that are sensitive in terms of security and safety. These include government offices and military facilities. It is completely prohibited for you to use your drone’s camera when you are in these areas.
  • When you are a resident of Turkey, you have to register a drone that is over 500 grams in weight.
  • Some airlines in Turkey ban the transport of drones that carry lithium-ion batteries. Before traveling, you need to look at the policies of the airline you will be flying on your next trip to Turkey to know whether or not you will be allowed to carry your drone onto the flight.

Taking a drone through customs in Turkey

As you can see from the rules provided above, those who are residents of Turkey need to register their drones and themselves as pilots with the Turkish government before they can fly their drones. This is similar to the drone registration rule in the United States but the difference here is that you only need to register a drone in Turkey if the drone weighs 500 grams or more.

However, when you register a drone with the Turkish government, you will be asked for a Turkish identity number. That means that those who aren’t residents of Turkey won’t be able to easily register their drones with the Turkish government precisely because they don’t have a Turkish identity number. In short, foreign nationals won’t be able to register their drones with the Turkish government.

So, if you can’t register your drone because you are a foreigner, what should you do before you can take your drone with you to Turkey? Is there a way for you to work around the need to register your drone?

If you haven’t registered your drone with the Turkish government, customs will seize your drone and place it in their custody upon arrival. But is there a way for you to prevent that from happening to your drone?

One piece of good news is that, according to the Turkish DGCA website, if your drone weighs less than 500 grams, it is not required to be registered, and it is not subject to confiscation from customs officers on entry to the country. Basically, if you want to bring in a drone under 500 grams, you are free to do so with no hassles

The other good news is that your drone won’t be seized by customs if you have received technical confirmation for your drone from the Turkish DGCA. In short, you need to apply for technical confirmation before you go to Turkey so that you can take your drone there without it being seized by customs.

If you want to apply for technical confirmation, you need to use FR-03, which is found in the forms section that you will find if you visit the Turkish DGCA website. When applying for technical confirmation, it is important that you submit your criminal record from your embassy in order to obtain approval from the DGCA.

Basically, it can be a tedious process to bring a drone with you to Turkey. So, if you don’t have the time to do it, you might as well just skip the thought of bringing a drone to Turkey due to the time and effort it will take for you to do so. 

However, if you really want to carry your drone with you to Turkey because you need it for your job or because you simply want to enjoy being able to take amazing aerial photos of yourself and the different sights and scenery in this beautiful country, then you should try your hand at applying for technical confirmation. 

And once you have made it into Turkey without customs officers seizing your drone, it is important that you have to make sure that you know the rules and regulations regarding drone flight in Turkey. Of course, it is just as important that you abide by the rules and regulations of drone flight in Turkey so that you won’t end up getting into trouble with the law while you are on vacation.

» MORE: Can You Fly a Drone in Istanbul?