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Heroin, Organized Crime, and the Making of Modern Turkey$
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Ryan Gingeras

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198716020

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716020.001.0001

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The Great Turn:

The Great Turn:

The Transformation of Heroin and Organized Crime in the 1970s

(p.185) 5 The Great Turn:
Heroin, Organized Crime, and the Making of Modern Turkey

Ryan Gingeras

Oxford University Press

The early 1970s also witnessed a series of profound shifts in American and Turkish policy on the opium trade. While Washington succeeded in compelling Ankara to impose a complete ban on opium production in the country (which lasted from 1971 to 1974), opiate smugglers in Turkey demonstrated a suppleness and flexibility that allowed the country’s narcotics underworld to survive and even flourish. By 1980, it was clear that more established, and newer, trafficking syndicates had begun to adapt to wider trends occurring in the global narcotics trade. A series of scandals that broke in the years immediately preceding and succeeding the 1980 military coup cast a spotlight on the ties the drug traffickers shared with Turkey’s influential radical right. It was also during this era that drug traffickers become more intertwined with Turkey’s influential radical right as well as the country’s powerful National Intelligence Service (Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı or MİT).

Keywords:   Afghanistan, Richard Nixon, War on Drugs, Albanians

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