PKK controls 80 pct of drug trade in Europe, says Turkish interior minister

PKK controls 80 pct of drug trade in Europe, says Turkish interior minister

ADANA – Anadolu Agency
PKK controls 80 pct of drug trade in Europe, says Turkish interior minister

The illegal PKK controls 80 percent of the drug trade in Europe, earning around $1.5 billion per year, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Nov. 8.

Speaking at a meeting on the fight against drug addiction in the southern province of Adana, Soylu said “terrorist organizations are selling drugs and buying weapons.”

“Especially in Europe, the PKK controls 80 percent of the drug trade and it is estimated that the terror group earns around $1.5 billion per year,” Soylu said.

On the domestic anti-drug operations, Soylu said the number of operations increased 29 percent in the first 10 months of 2018 compared to the same period last year.

Moreover, in 2017, 70 operations were conducted against drug traffickers and 10 operations have been carried out in 2018 so far, Soylu added.

Wanted militant ‘neutralized’

On a related note, Turkish forces “neutralized” a wanted PKK militant with a bounty on his head in counter-terrorism operations last week, an official statement said on Nov. 7.

In a statement, the Interior Ministry said 15 PKK militants were “neutralized” in operations in rural areas of the southeastern Şırnak province from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.

Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply the militants in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

The ministry said Muslim Fırtına, a wanted PKK militant, was among those neutralized in the operations.

Fırtına, who was codenamed Rizgar Gever, was in the green category of the wanted list and had a 1 million lira ($186,014) bounty on his head.

The wanted list is divided into five color-coded categories, with red as the most wanted, followed by blue, green, orange and grey.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.

Süleyman Soylu, Interior Minister, PKK, drug traffick, Europe