The Political History of Turkey’s Opium Licensing System for the Production of Medicines: Lessons for Afghanistan



The Political History of Turkey’s Opium Licensing System for the … Analogous to the current situation in Afghanistan, in the 1960s Turkey was one of theworld’s main opium producing countries. During this period the United States faced significant drug consumption problems, associated with the increasingly unpopular Vietnam War, through heroin-consuming American soldiers. Increasingly, the US Government perceived Turkey to be the source of much of its heroin, and by the late 1960s Turkish opium production became a significant issue in the two countries’ political relationship.After several years of tense negotiations, political pragmatism prevailed, resulting in Turkey switching from unregulated crop growing to licensed poppy cultivation for the production of medicines. The Turkish political dynamic was such that poppy farmers’interests were key to the stability of the country.
When Turkey deemed total eradication both technically and socially impracticable, the US and the Turkish Governments worked together to implement a poppy licensing system for the production of opium-based medicines, as an alternative means of bringing poppy cultivation under control. Turkey was then able to resume poppy cultivation, under a strict licensing system supported by the United Nations and a preferential trade agreement with the US.The Turkish experience shows that the United States has actively supported a switch from un-regulated to licensed, legal poppy cultivation for the production of medicines as a drug supply reduction strategy.In addition, in 1979 the United Nations asked those countries manufacturing opium-based medicines to purchase their narcotic raw materials from traditional producer countries such as India and Turkey.30 
In 1981 the US gave legislative effect to this request,extending ‘special protected market status’ to Turkey (and India) under a Drug Enforcement Agency Regulation, commonly known as the ‘80-20’ Rule.31 Under thisrule the United States must purchase at least 80% of its narcotic raw materials fromTurkey and IndiaTo this day, the US continues to support the Turkish opium industry through its Department of Agriculture and Drug Enforcement Agency.3 Conclusion Turkey’s successful transition from a culture of widespread, unregulated poppy cultivation to a licensed, controlled system of poppy cultivation for the production of medicines provides an interesting model for Afghanistan. Like Afghanistan, a significant sector of Turkey’s rural population made, and continues to make its living from the cultivation of poppy. In both countries, large rural communities play important roles,both politically and socially.
Turkey’s transition to a system of licensed poppy cultivation was possible because all parties understood that total eradication was impracticable and only pragmatic solutions would resolve Turkey’s opium crisis. Ultimately, the solution came about with the help of the international community, and through a specific bilateral trade agreement with the United States. In a similar fashion, Afghanistan could be helped solve its opium problem through targeted development aid, technical support and the implementation of a system of licensed poppy cultivation in some of its rural areas poppy cultivation in some of its rural areas BUSINESS – Turkey top opium producer
Turkey’s opium poppy farms make up 54 percent of the total opium areas in the world, according to the average of the last five years’ data from the Turkish Grain Board (TMO), Anatolia news agency reported yesterday.[[[[[[ Nearly 70,000 Turkish farmers in 13 provinces are allowed to plant opium poppy and produce unscratched opium poppy capsules in a 700 million square meter area,]]]]]] a limit set by the United Nations. The global consumption of opiate, which is a chemical found naturally in the opium poppy plant and has uses for medical and scientific purposes, is nearly 350 tons per year. The largest importer of this substance, the United States, supplies 80 percent of its imports from Turkey and India. Government-Controlled Opium Production Is Way of Life in Turkey
[ed notes:Turkish govt controlled means they are benefiting from it as is us link for whole piece,just citing few excerpts…the report mentions decades ago over 50-70 thousand turkish opium farmers,thats alot of opium (alot of money)…now im no genious but after it gained   ”special” us licensing status and at that time(imagine at todays prices)the us adopted approach of importing 80% of it,how much was in turn distributed towards medicine, vs the (U.S. GOVT/ CIA)  heroin epidemic of the 70’s- 2000’s in united states cities?Turkey is possibly the U.S.’s second Colombia type colony giving it legalized access to such a  lucrative drug market(wich us and allies of course figth to monopolize)…im wondering  whos behind the turkish farmers associations in Turkey and their relations to ruling akp elites…(wish i spoke turkish),anyway on another note coca cola corporation  has a similar status regarding us Got Cocaine? Coca-Cola imports 100 tons of cocaine ingredients each year   [ED NOTE:KNOWING THE HISTORY OF CIA/DEA IN DRUG RUNNIING,AND EVEN US PRESIDENTS CLOSE TIES TO DRUG SMUGGLING AND FINANCING ,YOU REALLY THINK HEADS OF COCA-COLA AND US  GOV INSIDERS WERENT/AREN’T ALSO PROCESSING AND DISTRIBUTING REAL COCAINE  AND OPIUM  AFTER IMPORTING IT WHILE CLAIMING ITS ”ONLY” FOR MEDICINAL PURPOSES?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *