PKK controls 80% of drug trade in Europe – Turkish minister

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Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said terrorist organisations sell drugs to buy weapons and PKK is the strongest drug cartel in Europe, controlling most of the traffic.

A man lances a poppy bulb to extract the sap, which will be used to make opium.
A man lances a poppy bulb to extract the sap, which will be used to make opium. (Reuters Archive)

Turkish interior minister on Thursday said PKK terrorist group controls 80% of drug trade in Europe, earning around $1.5 billion per year.

Speaking at a meeting on fight against addiction in southern Adana province, Suleyman Soylu said terrorist organisations are selling drugs and buying weapons.

“Especially in Europe, the PKK controls 80 percent of the drug trade and it is estimated that the terror group earns around $1.5 billion per year,” Soylu said.

On the domestic anti-drug operations, Soylu said the number of operations increased  29 percent in the first ten months of 2018 compared to the same period last year.

Moreover, In 2017, 70 operations were conducted against drug traffickers and 10 operations have been carried out in 2018 so far, Soylu added.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and EU.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, it has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies