Sun, 03 Jul 2022

ANKARA, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Turkish security forces on Tuesday detained at least 213 suspects across the country in a large-scale operation against narcotics, the country's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters.

The operation was part of the southern Diyarbakir-based operation, Soylu said in southeast Turkey's Diyarbakir city, adding that weapons were seized in the raids, along with drugs and money.

The police teams staged simultaneous actions in Turkey's largest city Istanbul, northwestern Bursa, central Eskisehir, eastern Erzurum and Van, southeastern Diyarbakir, Batman, Sanliurfa, Mus, Bitlis, and Mardin cities.

Over 4,200 security forces made up of police and gendarmerie forces, stormed 292 addresses, including those of the ringleaders of drug dealers, according to the authorities.

Prior to the operation, an investigation was launched eight months ago to arrest the members of an organization, who transported synthetic drugs produced in Iran from the border provinces to Diyarbakir and distributed them to surrounding provinces, the state-run TRT broadcaster reported.

The raids were Turkey's most comprehensive operation to date against street drug dealers, said the TRT.

Turkish security services have been carrying out several operations against drug trafficking, which officials claim is used to fund the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a group that Ankara says plays a role in international drug trafficking.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for over 30 years.

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