World Bulletin / News Desk
Kurtulmus made the remarks at the opening of the Turkish High Council to Fight Against Drugs meeting in Ankara.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag, Family and Social Policy Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, Minister of Labour and Social Security Mehmet Muezzinoglu, Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu, Minister of National Education Ismet Yilmaz, Health Minister Recep Akdag, bureaucrats and NGO representatives also participated in the meeting that took place before the prime minister’s announcement of a major Cabinet reshuffle.
Kurtulmus, who is also chairman of anti-drugs council, said latest research shows the drug use among youth is close to 10 percent.
"This signals a great danger for us," he said.
"The number of young people who have used drugs in Turkey is certainly lower when compared to Western countries. But this should not fool us."
The deputy premier also pointed out narcoterrorism in the country.
The PKK terror organization manages drug trade worth of $1.5 billion, which is a "disaster" for Turkey, he said.
More than 1,200 people, including security force personnel and civilians, have lost their lives since the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July 2015.
Kurtulmus said that while drugs usually flow from east to west, the synthetic drug traffic flows from west to east.
"The synthetic drugs are mostly entering Turkey from the West. We are continuing our fight very actively against this," he added.