Police raid two suspected mafia groups, seize machine guns
ISTANBULIstanbul police have detained 45 people in an operation against two suspected mafia organizations after collecting information that the two gangs were on the eve of major clashes.
The police’s Anti-Organized Crime Department seized a number of pistols, machine guns and shotguns and ammunition in the raids, according to reports on Dec. 27. Most of the guns were Glock-branded pistols. GPS equipment and vests were also found in the searches.
The simultaneous operations spread to Tekirdağ, Sakarya and Kocaeli, three provinces close to Istanbul, and Samsun by the Black Sea.
The list of those slated for detention included Sedat Şahin and Alattin Saral, the alleged leaders of the two groups subjected to the police operation which are named after their surnames.
The suspects face charges of creating an armed criminal organization, being a member of such an organization, intentional murder and attempted murder, looting, menacing, instigating premeditated murder, causing injury and possessing unregistered guns.
Some 17 of the detained suspects are alleged to be members of the Sarallar, while the remaining 28 are charged with being members of the Şahinler. Seven others were released by police.
Burhanettin Saral, one of the leaders of the Saral group, is among those who were detained.
Police found a gun and drugs in a hidden part of the car of Engin G., an alleged Sarallar member, during a search in Istanbul’s central Beyoğlu district.
The operation also revealed former internal clashes between the two rival groups.
Camera footage showed the killing of 36-year-old Abbas Ata, a former convict who was jailed for 10 years, on Aug. 9 in front of his house in Istanbul’s Eyüp district, by Şahinler gang members.