Turkey 'target of international drug traffickers'

The head of a parliamentary commission investigating drug addiction has called for tougher punishment for drug trafficking, noting that international drug dealers were targeting Turkey.

Yılmaz Tezcan told Anadolu Agency on Thursday Turkey was becoming the last stop for synthetic drugs.

Tezcan, a ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party lawmaker from Mersin province, said: "We have seen that Turkey is one of the corridors for transportation of heroin and its derivatives to Europe."

He recalled the parliament had formed a commission to probe drug addiction back in 2008 as well.

"In that period, synthetic drugs were not prevalent. Unfortunately, international drug dealers have turned Turkey into a target of drug trafficking over Europe, notably the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

"Turkey has almost turned into a last stop for synthetic drugs," he said.

Tezcan said the total income from 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 the families of drug traffickers can be confiscated; we will also make some more suggestions after the commission report is prepared," he added.

Tezcan said the commission would visit some countries who have successfully tackled drug trafficking, including the U.K., Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Finland, Portugal, Sweden and the U.S.

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