In this research we’ll share all law links and known rules about recreational and commercial drone use in Turkey (Istanbul). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in the Turkey Drone Discussion Group. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our ability & does not replace official sources & your own research..
Recreational vs Commercial drone use in Turkey
Turkey differentiates commercial & recreational drone use. Both are subject to restrictions & a strict code of conduct. Additionally, depending on your drone's weight & your destination within the country, different rules will apply.
✅ In Turkey, drone laws falls under the States Airport Administration of Turkey (SAMA) & they can be contacted anytime via:
Email: email@example.com (airworthiness & certificates) / firstname.lastname@example.org (registration, training & licenses) / email@example.com (flight permits)
Phone: (+90) 0312 204 20 00
✅ Turkey will differentiate your drone based on its weight:
below 500 g (best option in Turkey if just travelling there)
above 500 g
Can I travel to Turkey with my drone?
✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within Turkey as long as your import is considered as legitimate (generally one drone per person) & you've completed the registration process ahead (see - "How to register my drone in Turkey?").
🚨 Be aware of the airline you purchase to travel as some main ones will only accept your drone on-board if its batteries are detached & placed in a firecase during travel time. Most airlines will have a battery voltage limit based on the recommendation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can find more info about a specific airline here.
💡 Smart! Get your drone batteries' firecase today and make sure you're complying with aviation safety rules.
Where can I fly my drone in Turkey?
✅ We did not find an official fly zone map for drones in Turkey "If you have more information about this, please let us know anytime in the Turkey Drone Discussion Group". In the meantime, if you wish to fly in a restricted area (near airports for example), you will find the necessary forms here. Thankfully, app.airmap.io has listed some flight zones in a convenient way organised in a 3 colour legend which should give you a good first idea:
blue = special use airspace
purple = restricted airspace
orange = airport airspace
Turkey drone fly map
🚨 Avoid flying above or near military installations & strategic infrastructure. Fly away from airports & any aerodromes or airports in the country
🦅 National parks & reserves are on a case by case permission & you might need to check directly with the local park or reserve authorities.
💡 Smart! Pack some spare drone batteries, you never know how close is the next power plug overseas. Also make sure you have a travel adaptor for Turkey.
Recreational Drone use in Turkey
✅ Good things first, if you fly only for recreational purpose, a drone weighting less than 500 g within defined and allowed fly zones, you will not need to register your drone.
🚨 For all other uses/drones (heavier than 500 g), you will need to register the drone & yourself prior flying in Turkey. There might also be local rules based on your flight area & a code of conduct to follow for all operators.
With this in mind, in all circumstances you must fly:
at a maximum altitude of 100 m above the ground
away from private property, vehicles in movement, people or large crowds & respect individuals' privacy.
a drone weighting less than 4 kg at less than 50 km/h
away from airports (any airport, seaplane base or area where aircraft or helicopter take off & land) & give way to all other type of aircraft.
away from areas where its use could interfere with police or first responders.
avoiding sensitive areas including government or military facilities.
How to register myself to fly my drone for recreational use in Turkey?
✅ First things first, you will not need this if you intend to fly a drone weighting less than 500 g in a permitted flight zone. This is the case of the Spark drone for example.
🌏🚨 Note: unfortunately, foreigners are excluded from this process for the moment as you will need a Turkish Identification to register yourself (Kimlik card).
✅ To register yourself, you will simply need to log in here & enter your Turkish Identification information and confirm your details.
👌 Here is a useful list referencing all the licensed organisations & institutions able to train you & provide you with a certified drone license in Turkey.
How to register my drone for recreational use in Turkey?
🚨 Unfortunately, the process is only available in Turkish & for Turkish residents & citizens at the moment (as you would need to register yourself prior). ✅ The great new is, you're exempt from this if your drones weights less than 500 g
🚨 For drones over 500 g, you will need to register it ahead, see here. Failing to do do this prior landing in Turkey will most likely result in your drone being confiscated or at best 'stored' at the airport. To complete the registration, you will need:
the technical specs of your drone *If you've a DJI model such as the Mavic Pro or Mavic Pro 2, you won't need this as they have copies (unless you modified it).
an invoice (signed by seller) & conformity to GTİP with brand, model & serial number
a receipt of the payed fee, see here
💡 You should be able to avoid the registration bit by getting a Mavic Air or Spark which both weight less than 500 g. Here's the official trail video from DJI, the manufacturer of the Spark. So time to grab some 🍿 and enjoy this short and exciting video!
Commercial Drone use in Turkey
Different rules apply - you will need to register your drone prior any flight.
More information available via this link.
What do I risk for flying a drone illegally in Turkey?
The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction and/or if you had any commercial purposes to do such. Turkish authorities however specified that you could end with one or several of the following if:
you fly in a regulated space: 1,803 - 18,025 TL (approx. $300-$3,000) fine.
you fly outside the rules/in a dangerous manner: 2,603 TL (approx. $420) fine.
you fail to register your drone: 9,013 TL (approx $1,500) fine.
you do not register all your drone's specs: 18,025 (approx $3,000) fine.
More info - follow any updates in our Turkish Drone Discussion Group.
Once you've got everything in order, you can start flying above Turkey's awesome landscapes and create videos like this one:
💡 You're a local, have a question or want to share a travel experience? Head to our Turkey Drone Discussion Group
Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is the reader’s responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone regulations.
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UNDERGROUND AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS INSTRUCTIONS (for drones less than 500 g).