Dutch link in mafia killings in Istanbul: Report
AA PhotoTwo separate targeted hits in one day in upscale Istanbul neighborhoods that left three people dead late Dec. 24 were part of Amsterdam-based mafia wars over drug trafficking, according to Dutch media.
The killings in Istanbul might be related to mafia wars in the Netherlands which are related to drug trafficking, the BBC Turkey service cited Dutch television station NOS as saying.
Ali Ekber Akgün was killed when two men jumped out of a car traveling behind him and shot him in his Bentley as he waited at a red light in Sarıyer’s İstinye neighborhood. Akgün was reportedly involved in real estate, but police are investigating allegations that he was involved in the drug trade and a murder in the past in the Netherlands.
Two more people were shot dead with Kalashnikovs on Nişantaşı’s busy Vali Konağı Avenue late Dec. 24 while on foot. Vedat Şahin, the brother of known mafia boss Sedat Şahin, was killed in the hail of bullets along with a friend, Ferdi Topal. A third person, Enver Aydın, was seriously injured in the attack, which occurred at about 10 p.m.
Wim van de Pool, editor-in-chief of Crimestie.nl, said the killings of Şahin and Akgün, who was a key suspect in the Amsterdam Passage case, is not surprising.
“The underground world is not limited by borders,” said van de Pool, adding that the gang members were living both in Turkey and the Netherlands. Van de Pool said drugs are trafficked from Iran to Turkey and then to the Netherlands, explaining why many gang leaders frequently visit Istanbul.
Van de Pool said he learnt from sources that some incidents would take place around Christmas but did not initially take the threats seriously. He also cited an anonymous lawyer as saying that the killings would continue.
Meanwhile, according to a Turkish news website based in the Netherlands, Akgün and Şahin were acquaintances. Akgün was a key suspect in the murder of Kees Houtman, who is known as a leading name in Dutch-based mafia.
Peter la S., a witness in the case, said Akgün ordered the murder of both Houtman and another man, Thomas van der Bijl. The prosecutor initially demanded a life sentence for Akgün, but two years ago the court decided to try Akgün without arrest on the grounds that Peter la S.’s testimony was insufficient.
Holland television also claimed that Akgün’s biggest enemy was Atilla Öner, who was also accused of drug trafficking. On Dec. 9, Murat Hüseyin Garki, 25, was killed in Amsterdam. Garki was a friend of Öner and they were being tried in the same case.