PKK’s lucrative cannabis fields rooted out: Interior minister

PKK’s lucrative cannabis fields rooted out: Interior minister

PKK’s lucrative cannabis fields rooted out: Interior minister

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A total of 43.9 million cannabis roots have been eradicated in recent anti-terror operations in Turkey’s southeast, depriving the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) of around 2.7 billion Turkish Liras in revenue, Interior Minister Efkan Ala has stated. 

“We are conducting a total fight against the PKK,” Ala told parliament at a special session on the fight against terrorism in the aftermath of the deadly Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attack at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport. 

This “total fight” against the PKK includes cutting the group’s main source of financing, he added, stating that 8.8 tons of drugs have recently been captured and destroyed in operations carried out by security forces. Some 43.9 million cannabis roots with a market value of 2.7 billion liras have also been rooted out, he said, adding that “this shows how drug dealing and terrorism have become linked.” 

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) had earlier announced that a field full of some 240,000 cannabis roots was destroyed in its operations in the Lice district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on June 22. 

Ala also informed that some 18 tons of explosives have been found in similar operations in the region. 

“They have tried to declare ‘cantons’ inside Turkey after they did the same in Syria. They launched these efforts in 12 different provinces in Turkey. But they now realize that Turkey is not Syria and they have all been cleared from these provinces,” he said. 

Curfews continue to be implemented in parts of seven provinces amid ongoing operations, Ala also stated.