Istanbul court arrests 15 in narcotics raid
ISTANBULAn Istanbul court has arrested 15 people, including actor Eray Özbal, on charges of “drug trafficking,” and “providing drugs,” in a recent a recent narcotics operation that made the headlines with its celebrity detainees.
The detained celebrities, including Engin Günaydın, Hakan Yılmaz, Sarp Apak, Cemil Büyükdögerli, Gökçe Özyol and singer Mehmet Erdem, admitted to using drugs and were released with 50,000 Turkish Liras probation. However, they denied charges of providing drugs to others. Forces revealed the primary ground of production as the Cihangir apartment owned by Turkish actor Eray Özbal, where over 115 cannabis plants were discovered, as well as high amounts of ecstasy, marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine, measurement devices and cash. Özbal also had a young student in Sarıyer providing him with assistance.
The operation, which led to a total of 49 detentions, was commenced eight months ago when the Narcotics Branch Office started monitoring a drug dealer gang that sold drugs at bars in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş and Sarıyer neighborhoods.