Interior minister says heroin seized in anti-drug operation in eastern Erzincan province

1.27 tons of heroin bust largest in Turkish history

By Sertac Bulur

ANKARA

Turkey’s interior minister said on Thursday that Wednesday’s heroin bust of over 1 ton was the largest in Turkish history.

Speaking at an international drug conference in the Mediterranean city of Antalya, Suleyman Soylu said that anti-drug teams seized 1.27 tons of heroin Wednesday in the eastern Erzincan province.

The confiscation came during a search on the back of a truck after it was stopped at a security checkpoint — set up upon intelligence reports, he said.

 

According to a police data, Turkish security forces have caught a total of 17.3 tons of heroin in 2018, arresting more than 1,500 suspects.

Underlining the PKK’s active role in drug trafficking — as well as that of its “renamed” version, the YPG — Soylu accused Europe and the U.S. of failing to take a hard stance against the terror group despite its criminal activities and denying Ankara’s extradition requests for most wanted terrorists.

“If we want a world without terror, we must first have a world without drugs,” Soylu said.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.