Turkish police Tuesday arrested 137 suspects in counter-narcotics operations in 49 provinces. "Operation NarkoNet 5" targeted those who encouraged drug use on social media via posts.
Encouraging drug use with publications, such as social media posts, carries a prison term of up to five years under the Turkish Penal Code.
Turkey is trying to shed its image as a transit country for drug smuggling and at the same time is fighting against domestic drug use. In 2014, the Turkish government launched "The Rapid Action Plan against Drugs" to counter drug use and smuggling on multiple fronts.
Efforts include reaching out to addicts with rehabilitation and awareness campaigns, and operations targeting smugglers and small-time dealers carried out by newly formed "narco teams." These operations especially focus on areas near schools and other places frequented by young people, the most vulnerable targets for drug peddlers.