Cablegate: Turkey: 2007 International Narcotics Control Strategy

DE RUEHAK #2969/01 3481513
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REF: STATE 136780

E.O. 12958: N/A


I. Summary

Turkey is a major transit route for Southwest Asian opiates 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 Turkish National Police (TNP), under Interior
Ministry control, is responsible for security in large urban areas.
The Jandarma, paramilitary forces under joint Interior Ministry and
military control, is responsible for policing rural areas. The
Jandarma is also responsible for specific border sectors where
smuggling is common; however, the military has overall
responsibility for border control. 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 marijuana grown primarily for domestic consumption. There
is no known diversion from Turkey's licit opium poppy cultivation
and pharmaceutical morphine production program. Turkey is a party to
the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

Turkey is a major transshipment point. Turkey is also a base of
operations for international narcotics traffickers and associates
trafficking in opium, morphine base, heroin, precursor chemicals and
other drugs. Opium, morphine base, and heroin are smuggled from
Afghanistan to Iran. Both morphine base and heroin are then smuggled
from Iran to Turkey and ultimately to Western Europe. 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 counter narcotics force, with the Jandarma
and Customs continuing to play a significant role. Turkish
authorities continue to seize large amounts of heroin and precursor
chemicals. It is estimated that multi-ton amounts of heroin are
smuggled through Turkey each month.

Turkey and India are the only two traditional licit opium-growing
countries recognized by the USG and the International Narcotics
Control Board (TNCB). Opium for pharmaceuticals is cultivated and
refined in Turkey under strict domestic controls and in accordance
with all international treaty obligations. 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 other countries in the Middle

III. Country Actions Against Drugs In 2007

Policy Initiatives. The Government of Turkey devotes significant
financial and human resources to counter narcotics 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
International Academy against Drugs and Organized Crime (TADOC),
established under the Turkish National Police (TNP), continues to be
a key agency leading the fight against drug abuse in Turkey. In
2004, TNP increased the number of drug training and prevention units
it previously established in various provinces to cover most parts
of Turkey. These units conducted intensive training programs for
parents, teachers and students in these provinces, making a major
contribution to the GOT's drug prevention efforts.

Accomplishments. TADOC organized 72 training programs for 748 local
and regional law enforcement officers in 2007. A total of 27
programs for 441 foreign officers were held at TADOC this year,
including officers from the Balkans, Tajikistan, Afghanistan,
Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Montenegro, Kosovo, Azerbaijan,
Macedonia, Malta, Germany, Gambia, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan,
Guinea, 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. TADOC conducted
training in several foreign countries, including Montenegro,
Romania, Macedonia, Syria, and Yemen. TADOC also trained a total of
1100 officers in computer-based training centers through Turkey in

Law Enforcement Efforts. Istanbul continues to serve as a transit

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point for large amounts of heroin being smuggled to western Europe
via the Balkan route. In April, the Turkish National Police seized
13 tons of acetic anhydride, a precursor which is used to make
heroin. In October, the Jandarma arrested five people and seized
160 kilograms from two vehicles. In November, TNP seized 88.5
kilograms from a vehicle and arrested a Bulgarian in Istanbul.
January-October 2007 drug seizure statistics for Turkey are as

Heroin: 9205 kgs
Hashish: 9463 kgs
Opium: 569 kgs
Cocaine: 100 kgs
Amphetamine (Captagon): 11,463,379 dosage units
Ecstasy: 1,002,003 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. Turkey ratified the UN Corruption
Convention in November 2006.

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 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 minor and has no impact on the United States. The
Turkish Grain Board strictly controls licit opium poppy cultivation
quite successfully, 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 most of the opiates reaching Turkey. Morphine base
and heroin are smuggled overland from Afghanistan, sometimes through
Pakistan, to Iran and then to Turkey. Opiates and hashish are also
smuggled to Turkey overland from Afghanistan via Turkmenistan,
Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Some criminal elements in Turkey reportedly
have interests in heroin laboratories operating in Iran near the
Iranian-Turkish border. Turkish-based traffickers control much of
the heroin marketed to Western Europe. Turkish authorities reported
an increase in synthetic drug seizures throughout Turkey beginning
in 2005. Turkish law enforcement has seen an increase in synthetic
drug production, primarily amphetamines (captagon).

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), which serve as regional and drug treatment centers, have
been established. Due to 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 has not conducted a drug abuse survey since 1995
due to lack of resources. 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 survey questions postponed this survey to

IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs

Policy Initiatives. Until fiscal year 2000, the U.S. Government
extended $500,000 annually in assistance. In February 2007, the U.S.
Government spent approximately $40,000 in previously-obligated funds
to bring 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.

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

The Road Ahead. U.S. policy needs to continue work to strengthen
Turkey's ability to combat narcotics trafficking, money-laundering
and financial crimes. Considering Turkey's important role as a
transit country for drugs and the unstinting cooperation we receive
from Turkish officials, we strongly advocate for additional funding
for both training and practical cooperation to curb drug flows
through Turkey. These funds could be used to train Turkish National
Police on the skills and tactics necessary to conduct investigations
and expand the scope of their cooperation with both domestic and
international law enforcement agencies. We could also assist with
TADOC's role in bringing regional police together for joint training
and team-building exercises.


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