Smuggling and trafficking in Turkey: an analysis of EU-Turkey cooperation in combating transnational organized crime
Since the 1990s there has been a global proliferation of transnational organized crime (TOC). Turkey as a transit site between the East and the West has been one of the routes through which organized crime groups transport illicit goods in collaboration with other networks of crime. This paper investigates TOC in Turkey and maps out Turkey's role as a transit country in smuggling and trafficking. The paper also deals with Turkey's contribution to international efforts in combating TOC in light of its EU membership process. The European Commission's annual reports on Turkey's progress towards EU membership that highlight the achievements as well as the shortcomings of Turkey in combating TOC are presented. The paper argues that Turkey has introduced successful reforms and expanded its institutional capacities due to the progress it has achieved in the specific area of combating TOC as evidenced by the EU progress reports.