Cablegate: Turkey: 2009 International Narcotics Control


DE RUEHAK #1926/01 3111607
P 061607Z NOV 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 100992

1. Following is Mission Turkey's submission of the Drugs and
Chemical Control Section for the 2009 International Narcotics
Control Strategy Report:


I. Summary

Turkey continues to be a major transit route for Southwest
Asian opiates moving to Europe, and serves as a staging area
for major narcotics traffickers and brokers. Turkish law
enforcement organizations focus their efforts on stemming the
traffic of drugs and intercepting precursor chemicals. The
Department of Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime of the
Turkish National Police (TNP), Jandarma, and Coast Guard are
all part of the Ministry of Interior and have significant
anti-narcotics responsibilities. The TNP has responsibility
for law enforcement in Turkey,s cities and towns. The
Jandarma, a paramilitary police organization, is responsible
for all law enforcement in rural areas. TNP-developed
intelligence frequently leads to rural areas where the
Jandarma has jurisdiction and, in these cases, the two
agencies work together to conduct investigations and effect
seizures. The Undersecretariat of Customs falls under the
authority of a State Minister. DEA's counterpart within
Customs is the Directorate General of Customs Guards. There
are eighteen regional directorates and 136 subunits. The
Ministry of Health is the competent authority for issues
relating to importation of chemicals for legitimate use. The
Ministry of Finance oversees the financial intelligence unit,
known as MASAK, which has responsibility for investigation of
potential money laundering schemes.

Turkish law enforcement cooperates closely with European and
U.S. agencies. While most of the heroin trafficked via
Turkey is marketed in Western Europe, some heroin and opium
is also smuggled from Turkey to the U.S., but not in
quantities sufficient to have a significant impact on the
U.S. There is no appreciable cultivation of illicit
narcotics in Turkey other than cannabis grown primarily for
domestic consumption. There is no known diversion from
Turkey,s licit opium poppy cultivation and pharmaceutical
morphine production program, which has been a success since
its inception. Turkey is a party to the 1988 UN Drug
Convention. Although Turkey is a major donor to the UNODC,
it is still eligible for bilateral assistance and assistance
for projects that are regional in nature and the UN funds a
variety of projects in Turkey each year. UNODC continues to
sponsor training sessions at the Turkish International
Academy against Drugs and Organized Crime (TADOC) in Ankara.

II. Status of Country

Turkey is a transshipment point for Afghan opiates moving
towards Europe and Russia. Information from investigations
indicates that while heroin is being produced in Afghanistan
at record levels, some processing of opium and morphine base
from Afghanistan is occurring near the Turkish/Iranian
border. Many major traffickers based in Turkey are ethnic
Kurds or Iranians, and many of the same individuals and
families have been involved in smuggling contraband for
years. Ethnic Kurds generally control the areas where
opiates enter Turkey from the east. As many Turkish Kurds no
longer live in the traditional ethnic Kurdish region of
Turkey but have moved to larger cities in Turkey and even to
other countries in Europe, some have continued drug smuggling
in their new locations. Large drug trafficking organizations
and major traffickers based in Turkey are frequently involved
in both heroin manufacture and transport, and several have
also been involved in the production and/or smuggling of
synthetic drugs.

Drug proceeds are often moved to and through Turkey via the
informal sector, despite the fact that alternative remittance
systems are illegal in Turkey and only banks and authorized
money transfer companies are officially allowed to move
money. In general, investigations of money exchange bureaus,
jewelry stores, and other businesses in Turkey believed to be
part of the underground banking system (hawala) are initiated
only if the business is directly tied to an existing drug or
other criminal investigation.

A small amount of opium and heroin is trafficked to the U.S.
via Turkey. Turkish law enforcement agencies are strongly
committed to disrupting narcotics trafficking. The Turkish
National Police (TNP) remains Turkey,s most proactive
counternarcotics force, with the Jandarma and Customs
continuing to play a significant role. Turkish authorities

continue to seize large amounts of heroin and precursor
chemicals. Given the scale of these seizures, it is likely
that multi-ton amounts of heroin are smuggled through Turkey
each year.

Turkey and India are the only two traditional licit
opium-growing countries recognized by the USG and the
International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). Opium for
pharmaceuticals is cultivated and refined in Turkey under
strict domestic controls and in accordance with international
treaty obligations. Under the current method of production
the poppy is not incised; instead, the plant is allowed to
mature and the opium flow is then collected. There is no
appreciable illicit drug cultivation in Turkey other than
cannabis grown primarily for domestic consumption. Turkish
law enforcement authorities continue to seize synthetic drugs
that have been manufactured in Northern and Eastern European
countries. The majority of the synthetic drug seizures have
occurred as the drugs were being shipped through Turkey to
countries in the Middle East.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs In 2007

Policy Initiatives. The Government of Turkey (GOT) devotes
significant financial and human resources to counternarcotics
activities. Turkey continues to play a key role in Operation
Containment (a DEA regional program to reduce the flow of
Afghan heroin to Western Europe), as well as in other
regional efforts. The Turkish National Police use their
International Academy against Drugs and Organized Crime
(TADOC) to train officers on interdiction and investigation
techniques to fight drug trafficking in and through Turkey.
Border control initiatives and upgrades are expected to be
completed in 2008, which will provide for increased
inspection of vehicles transiting Turkish borders.

Accomplishments. TADOC organized 64 training programs for
2,597 local and regional law enforcement officers in 2008. A
total of 22 programs for 446 foreign officers were held at
TADOC in 2007, including officers from the countries of
Azerbaijan, Guinea Bissau, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan.
These training programs focused on drug law enforcement,
intelligence analysis, illegal immigration and human
smuggling, interview techniques, surveillance techniques, and
antiterrorism training for judges and prosecutors.
Furthermore in 2008, TADOC conducted training in several
foreign countries. TADOC also trained a total of 2,396
Turkish officers in computer-based training centers
throughout Turkey in 2008.

Law Enforcement Efforts. Turkey continues to serve as a
transit point for large amounts of heroin being smuggled to
Western Europe. The chart below summarizes the seizures made
in Turkey in the January-June 2008 period.

Heroin 7,425 kg
Hashish 15,410 kg
Opium 303 kg
Cocaine 54 kg
Amphetamine (Captagon) 2,376,736 dosage units
Ecstasy 401,021 dosage units

Corruption. As a matter of government policy, Turkey does
not encourage or facilitate illicit production or
distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other
controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from
illegal drug transactions. Similarly, no senior level
government official is alleged to have participated in such
activities. As in most countries, it is likely that some
corruption is present among enforcement personnel.

Agreements and Treaties. Turkey is a party to the 1988 UN
Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic
Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by
the 1972 Protocol. Turkey is also a party to the UN
Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against
Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on migrant
smuggling, trafficking in persons, and illegal manufacturing
and trafficking in firearms. The U.S. and Turkey cooperate
in law enforcement matters under a 1981 treaty on extradition
and mutual assistance in legal matters.

Cultivation/Production. Illicit drug cultivation, primarily
cannabis, is primarily for domestic consumption and has no
impact on the United States. The Turkish Grain Board
strictly and successfully controls licit opium poppy
cultivation, with no apparent diversion into the illicit

Drug Flow/Transit. Turkey remains a major route and staging

area for the flow of heroin to Europe. Turkish-based
traffickers and brokers operate in conjunction with narcotics
smugglers, laboratory operators, and money launderers in and
outside Turkey, who finance and control the smuggling of
opiates to and from Turkey. Afghanistan is the source of all
of the opiates reaching Turkey. Morphine base and heroin are
smuggled over land from Afghanistan, sometimes through
Pakistan, to Iran and then to Turkey. While the Balkan Route
remains heavily used, intelligence and investigations suggest
that traffickers also use a more northerly route through
Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine. In addition to use of the
northern route, traffickers are using vehicle ferries to move
TIR (long-haul, customs-sealed) trucks from Turkey to Italy.
From Italy, the TIRs are driven to other countries in Europe
where the heroin, smuggled in either hidden compartments or
within legitimate cargo, is delivered. Opiates and hashish
are also smuggled to Turkey overland from Afghanistan via
Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Turkish authorities
report an increase in the amount of opium seized in Turkey
but destined for Europe. It is not unusual to seize small
amounts of opium in conjunction with heroin shipments,
particulary when Iranians are involved in heroin smuggling.
The total amount of opium seized in Turkey remains relatively
small when compared to heroin seizures. Some criminal
elements in Turkey reportedly have interests in heroin
laboratories operating in Iran near the Iranian-Turkish
border in ethnic Kurdish areas. In recent years, there
appears to be more heroin arriving in Turkey as a finished
product from Afghanistan, and to a much lesser extent from
labs on both sides of the Turkish border with Iran.
Turkish-based traffickers, some of whom are ethnic Kurds,
control much of the heroin marketed to Western Europe.
Turkish authorities reported an increase in synthetic drug
seizures throughout Turkey beginning in 2005. Most of the
amphetamine type stimulants (ATS) seized in Turkey are
produced in Eastern Europe. Turkish law enforcement reports
some synthetic drug production, primarily amphetamines such
as Captagon (the brand name for fenethylline). Amphetamine
production is a relatively new phenomenon in Turkey.

Demand Reduction. While drug abuse remains modest in scale
in Turkey compared to other countries, the number of addicts
using treatment clinics is increasing. Although the Turkish
Government is increasingly aware of the need to combat drug
abuse, the agencies responsible for drug awareness and
treatment remain under-funded. Eight Alcohol and Substance
Abuse Treatment and Education Clinics (AMATEM), have been
established, which serve as regional and drug treatment

centers. Due to a lack of funds, only a couple of the
centers focus on drug prevention as well as treatment. The
most recent clinic was opened in Izmir in 2006, at a research
hospital. The clinic opened in Ankara in 2004 serves as the
countrywide coordinating center for drug and alcohol
treatment and education. The Health Ministry does not
conduct regular, periodic drug abuse surveys. The Ministry
of Health was planning to conduct the European School Survey
Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) in 2007; however,
objections from the Ministry of Education with regard to some
survey questions postponed this survey to 2008. Turkey
became a full member of the European Monitoring Center for
Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) after the European
Parliament ratified Turkey's participation in October 2006,
following a successful EU twinning project. Turkey,s
national focal point for this effort is the Turkish
Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, known as
TUBIM. TUBIM is charged with collecting data on drug use and
addiction in Turkey, reporting on new drugs found in Turkey,
and for conducting demand reduction activities.

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. We want to capitalize on Turkey,s work
as a regional leader in counternarcotics training and
education. We plan to offer regional training opportunities
at the TADOC center to provide additional investigative and
prosecutorial tools to Turkish officials and their
international counterparts. One example of such training was
done in February 2007, when the U.S. Government brought DEA
trainers to Turkey to conduct a course for counternarcotics
commanders, with 5 Turkish and 15 Afghan law enforcement
officers. The goal of this project was to enhance the
investigative abilities of both Turkish and Afghan
investigators, to increase their willingness to cooperate
internationally on joint cases, and to build relationships
between the two countries' law enforcement agencies.

Bilateral Cooperation. DEA reports excellent cooperation
with Turkish officials. Turkish counternarcotics forces are
both professional and technically sophisticated.

The Road Ahead. U.S. will continue to try to strengthen
Turkey,s ability to combat narcotics trafficking,
money-laundering and financial crimes.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at ey


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC