QA-9, 5 April 2013, Answer of the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey to a Question Regarding Europol’s 2013 EU Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA)

The public version of the EU Serious and Organized Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) 2013 Report published on Europol’s official website on 19 March 2013 alleges that Turkey’s borders with the European Union remain vulnerable despite intense law enforcement efforts, that the vast majority of heroin in the European Union countries transits through Turkey and that it is trafficked by Turkish organized crime groups.

Turkey is one of the countries which have taken the most severe measures in the fight against narcotics. Thus, according to UNODC’s World Drug Report data, seizures of heroin by Turkey which is located on the Balkan traffic route to the European countries, especially from Afghanistan, has been more than the total heroin seizure by the European countries, corresponding approximately to one sixth of world seizures. In this respect Turkey has moved up to second place in the world in terms of seizures. This is further supported by the fact that two out of three kilograms of heroin seized in the European continent is either seized in Turkey or with the intelligence/information support provided by Turkey. In other words, thanks to the determined efforts of the Turkish law enforcement officers, we have reached a seizure ratio more than double that of the EU countries during the last five years.

Naturally the EU member states are expected to appreciate this determined and intense struggle that Turkey pursues with sacrifices. Moreover, this struggle has enabled the EU member states to allocate their police resources or budget to other areas. Indeed, during the last decade, while total heroin seizures in the EU countries decreased 3 to 4 times, the total heroin seizures in Turkey increased 3 to 4 times.

In this regard, it is obvious that the data publicized about our country in Europol's SOCTA 2013 report is incomplete and misleading.