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AKP, MHP reject motion to investigate alleged drug trafficking in Turkey

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The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), on Wednesday rejected a parliamentary motion by the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) to investigate allegations of drug trafficking in Turkey, local media reported.

HDP Mersin lawmaker Rıdvan Turan spoke on the motion in parliament on Wednesday, saying the Mersin International Port had become the main point of drug trafficking in the country and that it was “clear” where the drugs come from and by which ship and through which logistics company they are transported.

Referring to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu’s statement earlier this week in which he claimed Turkish law enforcement had been detaining an average of 5,000 drug dealers or producers a week, Turan added: “The interior minister [only] appears to fight [drug trafficking]. … The country … is turning into one of the most critical drug trafficking points in the world.”

Nationalist İYİ (Good) Party deputy Mehmet Metanet Çulhaoğlu also said Turkey was one of the world’s most important actors in the illegal trafficking of drugs, rather than their use or sale in the domestic market.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Mersin MP Ali Mahir Başarır argued that Soylu, who has frequently come to public attention, especially since early 2021, with his alleged links to a mafia leader, a US money-laundering suspect and a drug trafficking suspect, among other criminal figures, had no intention of fighting the drug trafficking that is carried out in or through Turkey.

“Fire this interior minister. If you don’t, you can’t fight [the trafficking of] drugs,” Başarır said, addressing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling AKP.

The issue of widespread drug use in Turkey was recently brought to the country’s agenda by CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who accused the AKP, in particular Soylu, of involvement in facilitating money laundering and drug trafficking in the country.

Kılıçdaroğlu claimed in a seven-minute video released on Twitter that the government was using the “black money” that was coming into Turkey from drug trafficking to close the country’s current account deficit.

Mob boss Sedat Peker had also talked about the alleged involvement of the AKP in international drug trafficking in a video in 2021. Peker, who lives in exile in UAE and makes scandalous revelations about the dirty relations between the Turkish government and mafia and crime groups, claimed that Erkan Yıldırım, son of former vice president Binali Yıldırım, who is currently deputy chairman of the AKP, was part of a major drug trafficking ring involving Venezuela and Turkey.

Peker, the head of one of Turkey’s most powerful mafia groups who was once a staunch supporter of President Erdoğan, is the subject of an outstanding warrant in Turkey and is unable to continue his revelations on social media these days due to restrictions imposed by the UAE on him.

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