The modern age through which the civilization is passing, is bringing up the destructive threat created by organized criminal entities against the democratic civil society. Such a fact urges us to be remedied by effective and rapid means.
Many illegal activities such as trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic and chemical substances, weaponry and ammunition trafficking is not an easy task and law enforcement authorities are, for the most part, already stretched to limit.
With increasing volumes of international cargo and the ever increasing number of people travelling abroad, detecting illicit trafficking is becoming harder and harder.
Since this is the situation the law enforcement authorities are facing, the utilization of narcotic detector dogs becomes one of the most important instruments to tackle the issue.
The first narcotic detector dog of Turkish Customs was donated by the United Kingdom authorities and was first trained at a course based on narcotic detection at the Dog Training Center of Turkish National Police which was established in 1997 with the contributions of United Nations Drug Control Program.
The two governmental organizations i.e. Customs Enforcement and Police co-operated on narcotic dog training activities from 1997 to 2014.
Following a long-term cooperation between Customs Enforcement and Police on dog training, as from September 2014, the Turkish Customs Administration, established its own Dog Training Center in Ankara. The facility is equipped with modern tools and equipment. At the Centre there are administrative building, veterinary clinic, puppy training building, simulation hall, pentathlon area and 110 kennels.
Currently, 2 types of courses are facilitated at the Dog Training Center of Turkish Customs :
By 1997, there was only 1 narcotic detector dog in the field. By 2007, a total of 28 narcotic detector dogs were achieved whilst in 2009 detection courses on explosives and ammunition, and in the year 2010, detection courses on tea and tobacco were established.
Now, by January 2017, totally 104 dogs are available; 75 of which are detecting narcotics, 16 of which are detecting tea and tobacco and 13 of which are detecting explosives and ammunition.
A team of 25 is working at the Centre with a functional composition of 1 adminisrator 3 expert instructors, 4 instructors, 13 instructor assistants, 3 veterinarians and 1 administrative staff.