Interior minister tells officials to be ‘ruthless’ against drug dealers
TRABZONTurkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has told officials to be “ruthless” against drug dealers, adding that terror and drugs are synonymous for the ministry.
“Drugs are what terror is to us, according to our beliefs and values. I’m telling all our authorities clearly: You will be ruthless as soon as you see a drug dealer by adopting a mentality similar to that in the struggle against terrorism,” Soylu told officials during a Smuggling Intelligence Coordination Board meeting in the Black Sea province of Trabzon late on Jan. 22, adding that one of the most crucial financial resources for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was drug dealing.
“You won’t treat those selling drugs to our children around schools like humans. It’s as simple and clear as that. We are going to get rid of that in this country. Everyone – families, mothers and fathers – have demands and [appeals] on this issue. They send their children to schools and they entrust their children to us. They entrust their children to the institution they call the state. We can’t turn our backs no them. You will treat drug dealers the way you treat terrorists,” he also said.
Promising that authorities would pursue a “very serious struggle” against smuggling networks, Soylu said “the law is clear on that.”
“Everything is clear in the law and we will present a serious struggle against smugglers. The organization that takes the most advantage of this drug smuggling is the PKK terrorist organization. We are obliged to carry out a simultaneous operation,” he added.
During his speech, Soylu criticized Western countries for the difference in the perception of drugs between them and Turkey.
“They don’t see it as a criminal issue; they have almost made it a point in their lifestyles and maybe they see it as a health issue. They have labeled Turkey as a passage point for drugs for decades. To be more precise, the West tried to deceive us on this issue. The West does nothing on the issue of synthetic drugs. Synthetic drugs come from the West,” he added.
Soylu also said Turkey faced an evil drug called “bonzai” that does not come from the east.
“What are the precautions that the West is taking? They don’t take any precautions. They praise us. They say, ‘Yes, you seize heroin, marijuana and other drugs; good.’ They characterize us as a transit country and they never bring up the fact that we are a target country. We vigorously reject this approach and double standard of the West,” he said.
Noting that police, the gendarmerie and customs employees had been working against drug smuggling, Soylu said those who think that Turkey is a “comfortable environment” for drug smuggling would soon be mistaken.