Record-High Methamphetamine Seizures in Türkiye

Source: Paris Pact

Geographical area: Global

Date: 6 June 2022

In line with the global trend, Türkiye experienced a major increase in methamphetamine seizures as of 2020 . While the quantity of methamphetamine seizures was around 1 ton in 2019, the number went up to 4.1 tons in 2020 and 5.5 tons in 2021. During the meeting with the press on 18 May 2022, Türkiye’s Minister of Interior Mr. Suleyman Soylu stated that methamphetamine was becoming a major threat for Türkiye and Europe. According to the Türkiye’s Drug Report, the share of methamphetamine-related deaths out of all deaths caused by drugs increased from 6.2% (41 out of 657 cases) in 2018 to 31.2% (98 out of 314 cases) in 2020.

In the first five months of 2022, Türkiye recorded three major seizures of methamphetamine. Customs enforcement teams operating at border crossing points intercepted 1 ton 18 kg and 622 kg of liquid methamphetamine consecutively, which was concealed in trucks. 

In May 2022, Turkish Police reported a highest-ever methamphetamine seizure in Istanbul following a long-lasting surveillance operation. 1 ton and 117 kg of methamphetamine in liquid and crystal form was seized, the operation has led to the arrest of the members of the criminal group including its leader.

The growing threat of amphetamine production and trafficking also became a topic for discussion by partners of the Paris Pact Initiative at its last Expert Working Group meeting on precursors conducted in October 2021 (Vienna) and resulted in priority recommendation #7 related to Pillar III: "Partners also duly take note with concern of the increased illicit manufacture of synthetic drugs, including methamphetamine in Afghanistan, and the related trafficking of precursors to the country. Therefore, partners are invited to further consider this trend in a complementary way to the opiates trafficking-related issues."