Turkish Police Traffic Checkpoints

Watch for temporary checkpoints and traffic stops. These are usually set up for one of three reasons:

(1) routine license and registration checks;

(2) to watch for certain criminal individuals;

(3) DUI (“Driving while Under the Influence” [of alcohol or drugs]) checks, which are normally done late at night and on weekends in areas with restaurants and clubs.

In case you are stopped, be prepared to show your passport and driver’s license and vehicle registration or rental-car contract.

Sometimes vehicles will be waved through once the police see that a foreigner is driving. However, you should never assume you won’t have to stop! Make certain you understand the signal the officer is giving to you. If the signal is to stop and you keep going, you may be in serious trouble.

If you are involved in an accident – even when not found at fault – a Breathalyzer or blood test is almost always mandatory.

If you are not considered responsible for the accident, positive test results will not be used against you by the police. However, they may be used by an insurance company as grounds to deny an accident claim.

The unofficial “protocol” for military and Jandarma (Gendarme, paramilitary police) checkpoints in the eastern provinces at night is to turn on the vehicle’s inside lights and dim the headlights while stopping for inspection.

If your vehicle has tinted glass, roll down the driver’s side window. This makes it easier for soldiers to safely identify and check the vehicle and its occupants.

During this type of inspection, remain calm, do not make any quick movements and obey instructions.


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