Turkey: More than 7M cannabis roots seized
Police in southeastern province Diyarbakir, Aegean province Izmir seize large amounts of marijuana, cannabis sativa roots
IZMIR / DIYARBAKIR, Turkey
Turkish security forces arrested at least two suspects and seized over 7.5 million cannabis sativa roots in anti-drug raids across the country on Monday, according to security sources.
Security forces on Monday seized more than seven million cannabis roots, and over a ton of cannabis drugs from 89 locations in southeastern Turkey.
The seizure was part of a gendarmerie operation in Lice district's Baglan and Kabakaya rurals, in the province of Diyarbakir, to halt illegal drug trafficking by the PKK terrorist group, and bring the perpetrators to justice, said the governorship in a statement.
Over 1,600 kilograms of cannabis along with 7.5 million cannabis roots, 8,400-meter-long water pipes and six water engines were confiscated, and destroyed.
It was the largest amount of cannabis ever seized in a single operation over the last four years.
A suspect who dropped the drugs in his possession while trying to flee the area was also arrested.
In a separate anti-drug operation in the province of Izmir on Turkey's western coast to the Aegean Sea, police seized a total of 1,371 cannabis sativa roots in the Kemalpasa and Beydag districts.
The cannabis roots were destroyed and one suspect was arrested as the search for another continues.
The PKK has reportedly financed its terrorist activities through illegal drug trade since as early as the 1980s, with Interpol estimating up to 80% of European illicit drug markets being supplied by PKK-controlled trafficking networks.
Turkish authorities have been confiscating narcotic shipments owned or operated by the PKK since the 1980s.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is PKK's Syrian offshoot.
* Writing by Merve Aydogan in Ankara
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