In an anti-narcoterrorism operation on Tuesday, security forces supported by helicopters seized 3 tons of hashish and 15 million marijuana plants sown over 1,000 acres in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır's Lice district.
The hashish was hidden in a field. The security forces destroyed the hashish and the marijuana plants.
During the operation, security personnel found that drug dealers had installed pipes for a working drip irrigation system for the first time.
A total of 600 security personnel participated in the operation, which was organized by the Diyarbakır Governor's Office and the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.
The Diyarbakır Gendarmerie Regional Command led the raid, which began early on Tuesday morning.
Twenty helicopters assisted, in addition to armored vehicles.
The terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is known to be involved in drug operations in the country's southeast, from which it derives the largest share of its income.
For a long time, Turkish authorities have focused on the security side of the terror issue, for the most part ignoring PKK offshoots involved in criminal activities. Currently, the most terror-stricken parts of the southeast serve as safe havens for marijuana growers and traffickers of synthetic narcotics.
Turkey has been striking hard at the PKK's major source of revenue -- drug trafficking -- with operations in southeastern Turkey over the past six months. Since January, security forces have seized more than 36 million marijuana plants, valued at up to TL 4 billion, and 2,930 kilograms of heroin, valued at TL 200 million.
July 23, 2013 | Today's Zaman
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