Nov 08 2018

Turkish interior minister gives greenlight to illegally demolish drug dens

Most people would imagine a country’s interior minister holds the strictest respect to the letter of the law, but Turkey’s, Süleyman Soylu, has made a statement explicitly instructing Turkish citizens to ignore it when it comes to derelict buildings frequented by drug dealers.

“These derelict buildings should either be tamed or demolished overnight. Without hesitation. On this topic, don’t pay attention to the law,” Soylu said at a provincial governorate event for battling addiction in Turkey’s southern city of Adana.

News stories of police raiding disused buildings to find drug stashes, growing operations or dealers have been common in recent years.

The minister made his comments after criticism from far-right Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahçeli, who complained that the ruling Justice and Development Party had failed to apprehend the “barons” ultimately responsible for selling drugs in Turkey.

“Those aren’t barons, they’re balloons, and we are determined to burst them one by one,” said Soylu, who went on to highlight the increased number of arrests on drug dealing charges under his leadership.