This article explores how the Great Depression in 1929 led to the expansion of illicit circuits globally, and examines the ways in which the introduction of anti-smuggling campaigns came to consolidate the border regimes in Turkey and French Syria. The global economic downturn in the late 1920s led states to embrace protectionist measures such as heightened tariffs and import quotas, all designed to protect local industries and maintain a favorable trade balance. The introduction of such measures, however, often resulted in the emergence of highly profitable illicit circuits, including in the borderland between Turkey and Syria. Here, a sturdy coalition of producers, shop owners, smugglers, trackers, and peddlers began to smuggle into Turkey a range of goods from silk textiles to cigarette papers, while funneling out narcotics into Syria. By seeking the global trajectories of such commodity flows, this article examines the impact of these borderland mobilities on the making of Turkey's southern border by exploring the local and bureaucratic responses to a rapidly changing world economic order in the aftermath of the Great Depression.