mercoledì, Dicembre 1

Afghanistan, Turkey and the drug trade Turkey is used by drug dealers as a transit country for heroin trafficking from Afghanistan

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Ivan Eland  however is a bit more nuanced in his understanding of the situation. Eland believes that while Turkey is buried deep into the drug trade, Ankara is not exactly allowing traffickers to run free across its borders. “We have to keep in mind that there is also a dispute now between Turkey and Russia over the air defense thing. The air defenses of Turkey shot down a Russian aircraft, so it’s all in the mix of the Turkish-Russian dispute, I think,” he told RT TV in an interview last December.

To which he added, “There has been a lot of criticism that they don’t monitor their southern border very much and that enables ISIS to make money off drugs and, of course, anybody else going through there could have a drug route as well”.

Here is how Elmand sees the ramification of Afghanistan-Turkey drug trafficking ring. “A lot of these insurgency movements still make money off drugs, and the Taliban has been one of the kings of doing that. So I think Helmand province had a lot of symbolic meaning for British and American forces, and also the drug trade and its strategic location as well. The real problem is if you eradicate the drugs the farmers just support the Taliban. And if you don’t eradicate the drugs the Taliban get the revenue. So, no matter what you do it is probably going to end up helping the Taliban. The more control they have of the territory of the province, the more they are going to be able to profit from the drug trade which, of course, fills their coffers with money and makes them stronger.  And they have gotten stronger over the last year”.

Still, in November 2014 a former ISIS member told Newsweek that the group was essentially given free reign by Turkey’s army. Such a connection implies Ankara’s full knowledge of those trades radicals have carried out and benefited from over the years. “ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the Turks”, the fighter said. ISIS saw the Turkish army as its ally especially when it came to attacking the Kurds in Syria.” But as the alleged arrangements progressed, Turkey allowed the group to establish a major presence within the country — and created a huge problem for itself.

“The longer this has persisted, the more difficult it has become for the Turks to crack down [on ISIS]because there is the risk of a counter strike, of blowback,” Jonathan Schanzer, a former counterterrorism analyst for the US Treasury Department, explained to Business Insider. “You have a lot of people now that are invested in the business of extremism in Turkey,” Schanzer added. “If you start to challenge that, it raises significant questions of whether” the militants, their benefactors, and other war profiteers would tolerate the crackdown. Could it be that Turkey’s entanglements with Terror only got more complicated, and more perverse?”.


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