Turkish minister urges police to take extrajudicial measures against drug dealers

Suleyman Soylu, Turkish Interior Minister


Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has repeated his much-criticized remark ordering police to break the legs of drug dealers, saying that the authorities will do what is necessary.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony for police trainees in Ankara’s Mamak district on Dec. 31, 2018, Soylu said he had been condemned for ordering the police to take extrajudicial measures against suspected drug dealers in front of schools. “What was I supposed to say?” he asked, adding that his government would do whatever is necessary.

His remarks suggest the Turkish interior minister, who controls Turkey’s 260,000-strong police force, is standing by his earlier remarks and urging authorities to take measures that are illegal. Soylu noted that drug dealers poison children and turn them into strangers to “our faith, religion and traditions.”

“We conducted 140,000 police operations against drug dealers in 2018, and the number of detentions has increased by 28 percent compared to the previous year,” he stated.

Soylu said in January: “If a drug dealer is near a school, the police have a duty to break his legs. Do it and blame it on me. Even if it costs five, 10 or 20 years in jail — we’ll pay.”

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