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Turkey minister Soylu tells police to break drug dealers' legs

Turkey minister Soylu tells police to break drug dealers' legs
From BBC - January 4, 2018

Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has been criticised for saying police should break the legs of drug dealers who are seen outside schools.

The Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD) and secular opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet both accused Mr Soylu of incitement to commit a crime.

He pledged to take the blame for it.

"If a dealer is near a school the police have a duty to break his leg. Do it and blame me. Even if it costs five, 10, 20 years in jail - we will pay."

He was speaking at a public meeting on security, at a hall in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

He said the security forces' seizure of 20 tonnes of heroin in 2017 had made it a record year for drug hauls.

He said Turkey must fight drug dealers just as it fights the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"What we are doing to the PKK terrorists we must also do to drug dealers - no one can poison our future. What the security officer does is my responsibility."

Brave words or criminal incitement?

By Selin Girit, BBC reporter in Istanbul

Mr Soylu's comments came as a shock to many in Turkey. Social media buzzed with reactions.

Some people thanked him and praised him for what they perceived as bravery in the fight against drug-trafficking. However there was also some fierce criticism.

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