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The Turkish drug empire against drugs

Reader comment on item: Turkey: An Ally No More
in response to reader comment: Hypocrisy and Watchdogs of Broken doors - I

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Jan 27, 2010 at 08:58

Turk wrote referring to the below :

I admit that Turkish sense of humour is utterly paralyzed by fear of Turkish jails and jailers awaiting all possible 'denigrators' and doubter of holy Turkishness, virtuous Turkish government, the impeccable Grand National Assembley and the great Turkish warlordism. "Midnight Express" should be a warning to everybody, not just foreign tourists.

>Ah ! Here comes the famous Midnight Express again. , this time furnished with trivia of insulting 'Turkishness' which ones like you love a lot.. Conclusion ; don't get caught with dope , or don't insult Turkishness otherwise you may end up in an Alan Parker movie...<

Your triumphant conclusions are premature. You base them on a lie, dissimulation and willing ignorance - the three pillars of Turkey.

The claim you make here amounts roughly to this : Turkey was a clean candid country which banned drugs and criminalized possessing them by all legal means. So Billy Hayes, an American student, who was caught in 1970 with some drugs on him , was punished according to the just law and higher moral standards accepted all over the civilized world.

Yet Turkish appearances are ALWAYS deceptive. The Turkish claim is dishonest and deeply misleading as Turkey was a major drug-producing and exporting country at that time and the targeted consumer market was no other than that of its ally and protector the USA ! And of course everybody knew about that.

Let me quote from the official c. 1970 memorandum from the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 'on Economic Assistance for Turkey' :

" I raise the issue only because of our narcotics problem with the Turks. Secretary Kennedy had originally raised an objection to providing the loan until Turkey had agreed to eliminate its opium poppy production, although Treasury subsequently withdrew its objection and agreed with State that withholding it might aggravate political relations and restrict Demirel's ability to be helpful on the opium problem.

Demirel, in the subsequent months, has sharply reduced the number of provinces in which opium could legally be grown. He could ideally have done more. However, the opium producing provinces are important strongholds of his Justice party, which has only recently emerged from a divisive political crisis in which forty of its members voted with the opposition, defeated the budget, and forced resignation of the Government. Had Demirel banned opium production in all provinces, it is probable that he would have been unable to survive politically."

Interesting, isn't it ? While arresting foreigners for the "dope" which was a staple commodity in Turkey's drug-driven economy (what Afghanistan is for international drug market today, Turkey was some 30 years ago), the Turks saw no need to stop producing and exporting the very same banned dope.

Now a look at the drugs' role in Turkey before Demirel's timid measure to restrict its might to please his US friends is enough to see the massive scale on which opium and other drugs were being produced in Turkey with full support and blessing the government. The West could be told that there were laws against drugs and the internal Turkish drug empire could do its business as usual. The whole comedy reminds me of the situation where the thieves punish for theft a naive stranger who bought a thing stolen by them and offered for sale.

Let's learn some more facts on the unjustly forgotten quite official Turkish drug empire :

" Before the Limitation Law of 1933, Turkey produced opium in practically all the districts west of the Euphrates, i.e., the whole central area and the west. The poppy-plant was grown in thirty-two out of fifty-six provinces. Law No. 2253 of 31 May-8 June 1933 limited the areas in which opium-collecting was authorized first to thirteen provinces and subsequently to twelve (plus certain districts of the adjacent provinces). The area to be cultivated is determined each year by a special decree of the Council of Ministers. The law states that the decree must be published not later than 15 June in the Turkish Official Journal. The annual decree makes relatively unimportant changes in the area of cultivation. [...]

The area under opium poppy cultivation in Turkey is usually between 25,000 and 30,000 hectares; during the period 1937 to 1946 it averaged 28,900 hectares [...] of the 28,900 hectares sown with poppy only about 5 per cent are intended solely for seeds. It can, therefore, be inferred that during the period 1937 to 1946 an average area of 27,000 hectares was used for opium harvest.

The average annual production of opium for the same period was about 243 tons, which corresponds to a raw-opium yield of 9 kilogrammes per hectare.

The price paid to peasants in 1948 by the Soil Products Office for a kilogramme of opium was about $12.50. "

So we see what sort of 'gold mines' the Turks had discovered to help their dysfunctional economy plod on while poisoning the West not only with their various lies but also with much more potent substances. Most of the Turks - and probably the Westerners as well - either don't know that aspect of the Turkish happy Westernization story or will prefer to obstinately repeat that anything unpleasant said on Turkey is hostile propaganda and denigration. Well, I am sure the denigration argument and holy indignation are the favourite arguments both of the devil and of all his advocates.

Submitting....

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