Turkey conducted nearly 130,000 operations against terrorist groups and some 148,000 raids against drug traffickers in 2018, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said Friday.
Soylu added that the value of the drugs seized was around TL 3.5 billion. Drug-related deaths continue to increase globally, he said at a police training center in Erzincan.
In related news, security forces Friday seized over 70 kilograms of heroin in the eastern Van province, according to the local gendarmerie command. Acting on a tipoff, the gendarmerie seized 71.15 kg of heroin in four bags from a vehicle in the Başkale district, the command said in a statement.
The country lies on a transit route for drug smugglers. It escalated crackdown on smugglers in recent years amid a synthetic drug addiction epidemic particularly affecting Turkish youth.
Minister Soylu added that some 268,000 irregular migrants were also held in Turkey last year. "Terrorism, immigration, irregular migration and especially drug trafficking seriously threaten humanity," he said.