The work of the commission -- a body made up of lawyers, doctors, psychologists and professionals from other disciplines -- highlights that in areas of Diyarbakır where terrorist groups are active, such as the neighborhoods of Kaynartepe, Muradiye, Seyrantepe, Dicle and Ferit Köşk, and the districts of Fiskaya, Saray Kapı, Hançepek and Suriçi, the dealing and use of drugs is considerable.
Written by Cevdet Nasıranlı, a lawyer and member of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Diyarbakır branch, with the support of Professor Nilay Çabuk Kaya and Dr. Mehmet Çakıcı, the report is the result of a two-month period of intensive research that saw interviews conducted with the families of 400 young people addicted to drugs.
The report, which was sent to the president, prime minister, a number of ministries and relevant NGOs, suggests the most influential factors in pushing young people to use drugs are poverty and the operations of terrorist groups. The commission further proposes that having terrorist groups at large in Diyarbakır has resulted in the area being left behind other cities in terms of development.
According to the report, there are strong correlations indicating children of less educated families first tend to fall into drug use, and involvement in criminal activities such as theft, muggings, violence and burglaries, and participation in terrorist groups follows.
Figures from the Diyarbakır Police Department Narcotics Unit indicate that in the past two years 3,153 people have been investigated and arrested for drug crimes in 594 separate operations. Families report that drugs are sold in parks, in front of schools and on the street, increasing the risk that young people become involved with them.
The report reveals that children as young as 11 have become addicted to drugs in Diyarbakır. Two separate cases -- one of an 11-year-old girl living in Bağlar who became addicted to drugs after buying them outside her school, and the other of a 12-year-old girl living in Mardin Kapı who became addicted to narcotics and repeatedly tried to run away from home -- are highlighted in the study.
The report also notes that, despite the fact therapy and rehab treatment is available at the Diyarbakır Research and Training Hospital, its lack of sufficient staff and resources means patients are not monitored sufficiently after their treatment ends, and many patients simply relapse into their old ways.
The commission has published a number of proposals for dealing with the problem, including providing educational support to families about how best to deal with a child who has become addicted to drugs and educating children and young people about the dangers of drugs and offering them alternative pastimes such sports and educational courses. The commission also suggests that professionals, including doctors, policemen, teachers and lawyers, be educated about drug use to raise public consciousness on the issue and finally, that authorities and police devise coordinated plans of action to crack down on the growing trend.
Anti-drug operations conducted nationwide
In one of a series of anti-drug operations conducted by police departments around the country, heroin worth TL 50 million was seized by the Çorum Police Department’s Anti-smuggling and Organized Crime Bureau (KOM). The drugs were seized after police stopped two jeeps on the D-100 highway. Meanwhile, 54 kilograms of heroin were seized from a vehicle in the Black Sea city of Artvin, the Anatolia news agency reported on Tuesday. According to a statement from the city’s mayor, teams from the provincial KOM stopped the car on the D-10 highway. Fifteen people from what is believed to be an organized drug ring were taken into custody following a police operation in İzmir and Diyarbakır, news agencies reported on Tuesday. The İzmir-based group, which had been monitored for one-and-a-half years, is believed to have transported hashish from Diyarbakır and pills from İstanbul. Eleven suspects were arrested in İzmir, and four were arrested in Diyarbakır. Ten kilograms of heroin were seized by the Edirne police force in two separate operations on Monday. In another operation in Hakkari, 23 kilograms of heroin and 67 kilograms of hashish were seized. İstanbul Today’s Zaman