Interior Minister Soylu vows to fight against dealers selling drugs outside schools
Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has vowed to step up the fight against drugs being sold outside schools, saying that police officers should not hesitate to use force against those selling drugs to the country’s youth.
“We are being very clear. In 2018, we will catch them and save our nation from this malady [of drugs]. I have been giving this order to my friends for one-year-and-a-half. Do whatever is necessary when you find them,” Soylu said at the General Security and Struggle against Drugs Meeting in Ankara on Jan. 3.
Soylu said the police would continue carrying out anti-narcotics operations in 2018 “especially against drug dealings outside schools.”
“We have conducted seven regulations outside schools in 81 provinces. When a drug dealer is seen outside a school, no matter how much they will criticize or condemn me for saying this, it is the police’s duty to break that drug dealer’s leg,” he said, encouraging the police to “do whatever is necessary to the person who claims the lives of Turkish youth.”
“They [police] can put the blame on me. Whatever the penalty [of breaking a leg] is, say five years, 10 years or 20 years in prison, I will serve the sentence,” he said.
He likened the fight against drugs to the “war against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK].”
“Nobody can poison our future. The responsibility of any deeds of the security personnel confronting a drug dealer is mine,” he added.
Speaking about the “fight against terror,” he said that in 2017, 2,197 PKK members were killed, 675 potential attacks were foiled and 1,635 shelters used by the PKK were destroyed.
He also said 48,305 people were arrested and almost 120,000 were detained in 2017 over links to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
“It is impossible to deny the destruction that [FETÖ] has caused to the state, especially in our field,” Soylu said.
FETÖ, led by the U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gülen, is believed to have been behind the July 15, 2016, coup attempt in Turkey.