Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu blamed Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu for the increasing use of methamphetamine in Turkey, calling the minister “Breaking Bad Süleyman” in a video he shared on Twitter.
Türkiye’de bir metamfetamin salgını var. Sarayın düzeni bu salgını besliyor. Bakmayın “okul önünde uyuşturucu satanın bacaklarını kırarız” palavrasına. Bugün size Sarayın kara para ile bu zehiri nasıl sokaklarımıza davet ettiğini anlatacağım. Kirli paranın sonucudur bu. pic.twitter.com/llUggksdDJ
— Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) October 31, 2022
Kılıçdaroğlu shared the 31 October video on the use of methamphetamine in Turkey, accompanied by Hacer Foggo, the founder of the Deep Poverty Network, which has been monitoring issues related to drug addiction in the country.
Kılıçdaroğlu accused the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu of using billions of dollars he said had come from the sale of illegal drugs to finance Turkey’s current account deficit.
The opposition leader said the cash-strapped Turkish government had offered to turn a blind eye to illicit cash entering the country, referring to a September report that some $24 billion in unexplained funding had entered the country in 2022.
“Let me say this in the language of the young people who pose with it. ‘Breaking Bad Süleyman’ allowed the country’s children to be poisoned. Shame on you,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.
Soylu hit back with a video accusing the CHP leader of trying to cover corruption and what he called “dirty relations with terrorist groups.”
The Turkish Police Force shared a tweet of its own announcing it would file a criminal complaint against Kılıçdaroğlu for slander.
The Turkish Gendarmerie General Command shared the same tweet and stated that they too would file a criminal complaint.
The CHP leader’s accusation called to mind previous claims made by Sedat Peker, a convicted mafia boss and one-time AKP ally with deep links to security services and Turkish politicians.
Starting in May 2021, Peker released a series of videos in which he revealed allegations of dirty dealings by multiple Turkish government figures including Soylu.
In the videos, Peker accused Soylu and his party of trafficking drugs from Colombia to Mersin, a city on Turkey’s southern coast.
Germany’s 2021 organised crime report gave details on organised crime in Turkey as it continues to play an important role as a transit country in drug smuggling. Due to this position, it has become a haven for western Balkan gangs, according to the report.
The German Customs Directorate stated that although Turkey was not on the cocaine smuggling route to Europe from Central and South America and the Caribbean, the rate of Turkish involvement in crime was very high. According to the report, Turkey’s role in global cocaine trafficking is also increasing, with the country fast becoming a transit point.