Turkey’s reputation has shifted to a narco-state with recent accusations of drug trafficking from Latin America, giving leeway to those who trade in illicit substances and turning a blind eye to their affairs, former economy minister Ali Babacan said in a party congress held in southern Antalya province on Thursday, Karar news website reported.
“We fought for years to make this country a state under the rule of law, said Babacan, who resigned from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2019 to establish his Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) last year. “If this country loses its character with the rule of law, it will go down a path of becoming a narco-state.”
Turkish mafia leader Sedat Peker, as part of his tell-all videos where he makes revelations of corruption and criminal activity within the state, accused government officials of direct involvement in establishing trafficking routes for cocaine between Latin American countries and Turkey. Colombian authorities confiscated some 4.9 tonnes of cocaine headed to Turkey in June last year, while another shipment of cocaine travelling from Ecuador to Turkey was interrupted in Panama in May. Peker said recent operations in Turkey, where one tonne of cocaine was confiscated in the southern port of Mersin, were aimed to cover up the rest of the activities.
As the country goes further down the path of narcotics, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “keeps talking about the successes when we were running the economy,” Babacan said. “Mr Erdoğan, those days are gone. We opened the golden age for the economy, and now you can’t once we are gone.”
The foundation for a good economy is the law, the former AKP heavyweight said. “Justice is the most important issue. Without justice, there can be no economy, no prosperity, no wealth.”