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LOCAL > PKK using ‘Colombian’ method in protecting drug fields

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

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The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is allegedly mining the roads leading to its cannabis fields in Southeast Anatolia, security sources have said in the wake of a massive raid against the group’s alleged drug sources, noting that the practice was employed in Colombia.

Following an anti-drugs operation that featured 1,700 personnel, four helicopters and 16 armored vehicles in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, security sources alleged that the PKK was laying mines and hand-made explosives on roads leading to cannabis fields and their surroundings to produce “liberated crime zones” that are also seen in Colombia. 

According to the sources, the PKK encouraged the planting of cannabis in the highlands of Diyarbakır’s Lice, Kulp, Hani, Dicle, Eğil, Kocaköy, Hazro and Silvan districts and their villages. The highlands also provide shelter for members of the group, the sources said. 

During the operation earlier this week, security forces conducted searches on about 5 million square meters of land in 12 villages.

After the operations in the rural areas of Esenler, Uçarı, Ziyaret, Gözebaşı, Gökçen, Boyunlu, Bağlan, Kabakaya, Çavundur, Dolunay, Ormankaya and Çiftlibahçe, 250 tons of cannabis, 95 percent of which had not yet been harvested, were found and destroyed, daily Milliyet reported.

According to the sources, 6,000 cannabis roots can be grown in a field of 1,000 square meters, leading the sources to conclude that around 5 million cannabis roots must have been destroyed in the operation. 

The going rate for one kilogram of cannabis is 2,000 Turkish Liras, according to authorities. 

Ultimately, the raid is believed to have seized about 500 million Turkish Liras worth of drugs that would have gone toward financing PKK activities, the sources alleged.

July/21/2012

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