Turkey to amend laws to fight drug addiction
ANKARAThe Turkish government has announced a set of legal measures aimed at fighting drug addiction and aiding treatment of drug addicts.
Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on April 28 that the government would amend laws in order to enable drug addicts to seek treatment without revealing their identities.
“The people with drug-related problems somehow end up avoiding [treatment] since they have to reveal their identities to seek treatment,” Kurtulmuş said, as he was delivering an opening speech at a meeting of the supreme council on the fight against drugs.
“We will take a key step by making a legal amendment as soon as possible,” he said, noting that a motion to revoke articles 279 and 280 in the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), which require public officials and health staff to inform authorities about addicts, would also be made.
Kurtulmuş added that the government will also take steps to help addicts get health benefits even if they did not have insurance.
Family and Social Policies Minister Sema Ramazanoğlu, Labor and Social Security Minister Süleyman Soylu, Youth and Sports Minister Akif Çağatay Kılıç, Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenkçi, Interior Minister Efkan Ala, Education Minister Nabi Avcı, Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, members of parliament and representatives of civil society organizations also attended the meeting.
The agenda of the meeting was focused on Turkey’s “Policy and National Strategy Document Counteracting Addictive Substances and Substance Addiction” for 2016-2018.
“It [fighting drugs] is one of the most vital fields for every government. For us, fighting drugs is at least as important as fighting terrorism,” Kurtulmuş said, while underlining that fighting drugs was a social problem not just for Turkey but the entire world.