Depending on your perspective, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is either a revolutionary group battling their home nation of Turkey for 35 years in order to establish Kurdish autonomy, or a lethal narco-terrorist organization bent on subverting legitimate Turkish rule.   

Either way, the relatively obscure PKK made global news last week when 600 Turkish security forces seized a lung-busting 15 million marijuana plants and three tons of hashish covering over a thousand acres in the Turkish district of Lice.

The Turkish government has cracked down on the PKK’s drug trafficking in 2013 to curtail the group funding their activities via the black market. The government has already destroyed 36 million cannabis plants (valued at 4 billion Turkish lira) and almost 3,000 kilos of heroin (worth 200 million TL) that would have greatly aided the PKK cause. Over half of the heroin seized worldwide (53%) comes from either Turkey or neighboring Iran. 

The destruction of PKK drugs occurred as the group is negotiating with Turkey for a ceasefire. Perhaps it was the Turkish government's persistence in targeting PKK interests that motivated the group to issue an ultimatum stating that attempts at a ceasefire would fail if reforms are not initiated by the end of August. 

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