Life at the 'Lik: Could you be supplying the black-market?

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Anthony Sanchelli
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Editor's note: This article is part of a series designed to provide in-depth information to both current and future members of Team Incirlik about topics specific to Incirlik and Turkey. The goal is to assist Airmen and families in making informed decisions about their move to the area and to provide guidance about local policies, procedures and quality of life matters.

Most have heard the term black-market, but what does it really mean to Air Force members? It could mean non-judicial punishment or even the end of a career and jail time for those who fail to abide by the rules.

One of the most important slivers of information that could keep servicemembers, civilian employees and dependants out of trouble is this: if it wasn't purchased on the Turkish economy, it's illegal to sell or give those items as gifts to any Turkish National.

"Because we do not pay customs duties on items purchased on base, the price we pay is often much lower than the price offered on the Turkish economy," said 1st Lt. Samuel Siavoshi, 39th Air Base Wing assistant staff judge advocate.

There are times during an assignment here when servicemembers may be tempted to offer gifts to please their local friends who have been nice, Siavoshi said. In addition, gardeners, nannies, and housemaids might ask for work related items from on base. Although it may seem harmless, its black-marketing.

"The easiest, smartest and lawful thing to do is to say no," Siavoshi exclaimed. "Most people do not realize how encompassing blackÔÇÉmarketing laws can be."

Not only is it illegal to "black-market" items from the BX, Shoppette or Commissary, but items brought over from the states such as household goods are also not allowed to be sold or given away to local nationals, says Lt Siavoshi. This includes selling items at garage sales or online to local nationals.

Here's the bottom line: the proper thing to do is to only give items purchased on the Turkish economy to Turkish nationals.