Istanbul to monitor waste water to detect drugs
Green Crescent (Yeşilay), Turkey’s anti-addiction association, has begun monitoring waste water in two Istanbul districts, Beyoğlu and Çatalca, in order to detect drugs and any other psychoactive substances.
Yeşilay has cooperated with the forensics institute of Istanbul University and the Istanbul Development Agency (İSTKA) for the pilot project, which it plans to later carry out elsewhere in the city and the country.
The project, conducted through the Lab for Analyzing Drugs in Waste Water Lab at the forensics institute, aims to “fight addiction,” said Yeşilay General Manager Mücahit Öztürk.
“I believe this project will help clearly mark illegal substances and fight addiction,” Öztürk said.
The project was first announced by Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdağ, who told private broadcaster CNN Türk on Nov. 26 that the amount of drugs seized by the authorities in Turkey surpasses the amount seized in all European countries combined.
“Only a small portion of the drugs that enter Turkey are actually used in Turkey,” Akdağ said, adding that the government is planning to establish a special commission to fight against addictions.
This commission will also struggle against addiction to technology.
The Turkish security forces have seized more than five tons of drugs in nationwide anti-narcotic operations over one month, the country’s police department stated on Nov. 26.
More than three tons of hashish and nearly 2.5 tons of heroin were seized by police in anti-narcotics operations between Oct. 21 and Nov. 21, the statement said.