Turkey minister rapped for 'break drug dealers' legs' order

2018-01-05 05:40


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Istanbul - Turkey's powerful interior minister was accused on Thursday of abusing his powers by the opposition and lawyers after saying police should "break the legs" of drug dealers.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, a favourite with the grass roots of the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) for his tough approach to crime, made the remarks at an anti-drugs conference earlier this week.

"I don't care how much they will condemn and criticise me, but a police officer who does not break the leg of a drug dealer when they see them cannot be considered to have fulfilled his duties," Soylu was quoted as saying by Turkish media.

He went on to say he would personally assume full legal responsibility if Turkish police officers took such actions.

"Anyone who does what's necessary against such people (drug dealers) - who take the lives of my country's youth, who poison them and put their families into misery - can put the responsibility on me."

Opposition MP for the secular Republican People's Party (CHP) Tur Yildiz Bicer, said she lodged a complaint against Soylu under a Turkish penal code article on abuse of power.

"The order, which constitutes an offence, cannot be fulfilled under any circumstances, whoever fulfils it cannot be free of responsibility," she said, quoted by Turkish media.

She said under the penal code the person who publicly encourages the committing of such an offence can be punished with a jail sentence of up to five years.

Istanbul Bar Association chairperson Mehmet Durakoglu said that Soylu's comments flew in the face of the presumption of innocence which was key to the legal system.

"This (Soylu's remark) is in quite a clear way criminal. I cannot accept that such words are said, even in irony," Durakoglu said, quoted by the Dogan news agency.

"It's not right that such things are going to make the fight against drugs more effective," he added.

The spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ibrahim Kalin, however backed the comments, describing them as an "expression of determination".

Soylu, who was named interior minister in 2016, has risen to prominence by forcing an unrelenting fight against outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in the southeast.

Read more on:    turkey

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.