The head of a parliamentary commission investigating drug addiction has called for tougher punishments for drug trafficking, noting that international drug dealers were targeting Turkey.
Yılmaz Tezcan told Anadolu Agency (AA) yesterday Turkey was becoming the last stop for synthetic drugs.
Tezcan, a ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) lawmaker from Mersin province, said, "We have seen that Turkey is one of the corridors for the transportation of heroin and its derivatives to Europe." He said Parliament formed a commission to probe drug addiction back in 2008 as well. "Back then, synthetic drugs were not prevalent. Unfortunately, international drug dealers have turned Turkey into a target for drug trafficking in Europe, notably the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. "Turkey has turned into a kind of last stop for synthetic drugs," he said, adding that the total income for drug trafficking is about $25 billion globally. "This is a huge amount of money. There are so many people who earn hefty sums. In Turkey, we should prevent this trafficking," he said. He called for making the punishments for drug trafficking offences in Turkey more severe. "For instance, the properties of families of drug traffickers could be confiscated. We will also make some more suggestions after the commission report is prepared," he added. Tezcan said the commission would visit countries who have successfully tackled drug trafficking, including the U.K., Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Finland, Portugal, Sweden and the U.S.
In recent years, police have cracked down on a deadly synthetic drug known as bonsai, which has reportedly replaced cannabis and ecstasy as the most attainable drug for young urbanites. However, police raids on bonsai sellers have pushed dealers to sell other substances. While bonsai is produced outside of Turkey, the new drugs can be made domestically, which makes them cheaper to produce and therefore more profitable. The new drugs often contain veronica or damiana leaves laced with chemicals like bug spray or acetone.
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