Amount of drugs seized in Turkey surpasses all European countries: Deputy PM
“This is because drug traffickers use here [Turkey] as a transit route. However, the high figure actually shows the great success of our Interior Ministry and the police department,” Akdağ said, speaking in an interview with Doğan TV Ankara Representative Hakan Çelik on private broadcaster CNN Türk on Nov. 26.
“Only a small portion of the drugs that enter Turkey are actually used in Turkey,” he said, adding that the government is planning to establish a special commission to fight against addictions.
The High Commission on Combating Addiction will have four sub-groups that will fight against addiction to drugs, smoking, alcohol, and technology, Akdağ said, adding that the initiative for such a commission was launched upon instructions by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.
Smoking “is the most widespread health problem” in Turkey after obesity and inactivity, he also said, admitting that the smoking rate in the country has recently gone up after a series of consecutive falls.
The current smoking rate in Turkey for people aged 15 and above is 31 percent, up from 27 percent previously.
Akdağ pointed to the link between smoking and drug addiction, suggesting that “almost every drug addict begins with smoking.”
A joint fight against such addictions will be carried out by the Turkish Green Crescent Society (Yeşilay) and the Family and Social Policies Ministry, he noted.
Turkish citizens can call 191, a 24/7 helpline, in order to get information and support in their fight against addiction.
Regarding technology addiction, Akdağ said it was widespread in Turkey but had not reached the levels of Europe and the U.S. yet.
The issue has been on the agenda of the World Health Organization (WHO) in recent years, he added, noting that Internet addiction often harms a person’s social skills.