Erdoğan urges ‘national, moral values’ for youths in the fight against drugs
ANKARACombatting the drugs problem in Turkey requires the embrace of “national and moral values” among the young, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, vowing to eliminate what he called “drugs terror.”
“We can never give our youth over to terrorism or drug barons in Qandil [the Kurdistan Workers’ Party headquarters in northern Iraq] or Pennsylvania [the residence of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen]. We will not ignore those who arm our youngsters or those who try to get them addicted to drugs,” Erdoğan said at an Ankara iftar fast-breaking meal with a number of NGO representatives on June 21.
“We should act as a family in resolving these issues,” he added, stressing the importance of raising young people who embrace “national and moral values.”
“We need youngsters whose lives are not extinguished in the mountains [with militant groups] or on the streets [addicted to drugs]. We need youngsters who have a long life for this country and nation,” Erdoğan said.
The state has been carrying out work against drug gangs but there are still deficiencies, he added, referring specifically to recent news reports of an apparent rise in drug addicts on the streets.
Although drug use figures in Turkey are “still very much below figures in European countries, we have to treat this wound before it turns into gangrene,” he said.
Erdoğan calls on NGOs to observe FETÖ trials
Erdoğan has also called on Turkish NGOs to observe the trials of suspects arrested for links to last year’s deadly coup attempt.
The failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, which the Turkish government believes was orchestrated by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), killed 250 and injured nearly 2,200 others.
During the iftar dinner, Erdoğan has praised NGO representatives’ contribution to inclusive democracy and peace in the country.
“We don’t see NGOs as a threat but the keystone of the nation’s unity and solidarity. You are tools of inclusive democracy and social peace in our country,” he said.
The president stated that NGOs are not against the state but complementary to it.
“Without the support of and cooperation with NGOs, a state cannot reach its goal, regardless of how strong it is,” he noted.
“I would like to ask NGOs to attend FETÖ coup trials,” he said, stressing the judicial process against the coup suspects.