49 ISIL suspects detained in Istanbul for ‘preparing for referendum attacks’
ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Police on April 15 detained 49 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) suspects allegedly planning a "sensational" act of terror ahead of the constitutional referendum.
The suspects, including 41 foreign nationals, were taken into custody during simultaneous raids in seven districts including Başakşehir, Beylikdüzü, Fatih, Esenyurt, Kartal, Küçükçekmece and Pendik, a security source said.
During the operation, police also seized three handguns -- two for firing blanks -- three cartridges, 16 rounds of ammunition, a radio, a machete, six electronic point-of-sale terminals, a large number of bank cards, military camouflage gear and around $341,000-worth of cash in three denominations.
More than 55 million Turkish citizens will vote on April 16 on proposed constitutional amendments, including on giving wide-ranging executive powers to the president and shifting the current parliamentary system to a executive presidency.