PKK and Drugs
To be able to finance its activities, PKK seeks to get involved -directly and indirectly- in every stage of drug trafficking including cultivating cannabis, shipment of drugs to Europe and their distribution in European countries.
The terrorist group generates significant income through provision of protection services for the networks that transport/smuggle drugs into Europe and in that regard, PKK reached an exceptional level in its drug trafficking undertakings.
Some of PKK’s several narco-terrorism activities include the following:
- Illegal cultivation of cannabis in certain areas in Turkey
- Extorting money (taxing) from smugglers operating on the border
- Facilitating illegal travels of smugglers on Turkish-Iranian and Turkish-Iraqi border
- Coordinating drug shipments from Afghanistan and Iran to Europe via Turkey-Mediterranean-Balkans route
- Cooperating with Europe-based mafia-like groups to distribute drugs
PKK’s involvement in illegal dealings is not limited to drug trafficking only as the terrorist group secured control over all smuggling activities at the Turkish-Iranian border which helped PKK exert domination and pressure over local clans that mostly live on smuggling activities.
While PKK prioritized generating maximum amount of income through drug trafficking, it adopted and strictly implements a cautious policy of keeping its name out of any drug-related dealings.
PKK’s Syrian offshoot PYD forces local residents to cultivate cannabis at PYD-controlled areas and also coordinates immigrant smuggling from Syria to Europe. PYD sets cannabis fields on fire if they were cultivated without PYD permission/control and thus, disseminates the convenient perception that PYD was against drugs.
So-called taxes inflicted on smuggling activities in the north of Syria and Iraq and on Turkish-Iranian border and, the fees collected from the smugglers in west European and Balkan countries make up a significant portion of PKK income.
PKK GENERATES AN ANNUAL AMOUNT OF $ 1.5 BILLION OUT OF DRUG TRAFFICKING!
- 75% of the drugs consumed in Europe is provided through PKK drug trafficking activities.
- The Afghanistan-Pakistan-Iran triangle is the global hotbed of drug trade. PKK exerts control over the drug trafficking route extending from Afghanistan-Iran to Turkey to Europe for years.
- PKK has been raising a significant amount of funds by extorting money from drug trafficking activities carried out in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and The Netherlands which host large Kurdish populations.