Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Friday that security forces confiscated 553 kilograms of methamphetamine and 137 kilograms of “chemical” (intended to be used in drug production) during an operation in Istanbul. The minister tweeted it was the largest methamphetamine bust ever performed on a case.
Seven suspects were arrested in connection with drugs found in related operations in Esenyurt, Başakşehir and Sarıyer neighborhoods.
Turkey is one of the leading countries in drug seizure in Europe. In August, 4.3 tons of methamphetamine were seized in separate shipments from Hong Kong in a transit freight terminal at Istanbul Airport.
Meth is one of the “popular” drugs in Istanbul, according to a wastewater analysis report from 2020. According to the European Center for Monitoring Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), Turkey seized 5.7 tons of amphetamines in 2018, the last year with available data. Almost all of the amphetamine seized in Turkey was in tablet form, including large quantities of amphetamine-containing Captagon tablets. Turkey also seized an exceptionally large amount of methamphetamine (564 kilograms) in 2018, an amount close to the highest amount reported for the entire European Union (646 kilograms).