Paraguay

Report: Turkey Becoming Major Transit Point for Latin American Cocaine – OCCRP

“Since the 1960s, Turkish traffickers have dominated the global heroin trade, establishing both deep corruption webs at home and a criminal tapestry of port contacts, logistics networks and distribution gangs across Europe,” the report said. “By the 1980s, this had consolidated into the so-called “Balkan Route”: a modern multi-branched Silk Road that transported opiates from Afghanistan and Iran, through the Turkish land mass and into Europe via the Balkans.

A second factor is their connections. After the Balkan route coalesced in the 80s, Turkish organized criminals came into contact with their Latin American equivalents, building a flourishing barter economy of heroin for cocaine.

Turkey: Cocaine Hub Between Europe and the Middle East – Insight Crime

In 2022, cocaine shipments heading to Turkey have been seized in Ecuador, West Africa, and Malta, as well as in Turkey itself.

Though the vast majority of this cocaine simply transits through Turkey, a growing minority now stays in the country, according to a 2019 EMCDDA report. The country’s domestic market saw a record expansion between 2007 and 2017, with drug seizures increasing tenfold during this time.