By Orhan Onur Gemici
ANKARA (AA) - The PKK terror group has earned $500 million a year from the illegal drug trade since 1980, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday.
In a report, the ministry said drug trafficking provided the PKK’s main source of funding, particularly the cultivation of cannabis in east and southeast Turkey.
In the past 37 years, 1,376 “narco terror” suspects had been arrested, the report added, and tens of thousands of tonnes of drugs seized, including 62,654 tonnes of cannabis, 5,452 tonnes of heroin and 4,314 tonnes of morphine base.
Police had also seized 71,200 kilograms of opium, 952 kilograms of cocaine, more than 870,000 amphetamine-based pills and in excess of 88 million cannabis plants.
Since it resumed its armed campaign in July 2015, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of approximately 1,200 security personnel and civilians, including women and children.