Police on Wednesday detained 14 people in connection with the murder of the 19-year-old daughter of an Iranian drug dealer in Istanbul last year.
Arzu Sherifi Zindashti, daughter of Naji Sharifi Zindashti, and her driver, a nephew of Zindashti, were killed when gunmen in a car opened fire while they were traveling in Istanbul's Büyükçekmece district in September 2014.
In simultaneous operations at eight locations in Istanbul, 14 people, reportedly the gunmen and masterminds of the murder, were detained.
Turkey's Takvim daily had reported that Naji Sharifi Zindashti was an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who had helped in the capture of members of a drug cartel in Greece. It was claimed that members of the drug cartel who evaded the arrest planned the murder.
Zindashti was also reportedly a secret witness in the controversial Ergenekon trial that saw hundreds of people detained on charges of attempting to overthrow the government. Zindashti was arrested in 2007 in Istanbul in possession of 75 kilograms of heroin and was released three years later. Takvim reported he then testified against a number of judges he accused of taking bribes.
Speaking at the funeral of his daughter, Zindashti had said he was the original target of the gunmen. He also claimed it was the work of an international drug smuggling gang.
Istanbul was the scene of a conflict between drug gangs last year. Two months after the murder, two men linked to a notorious drug gang were murdered in Küçükçekmece. Then in December, Ali Ekber Akgün - a Dutch-Turkish businessman accused of ties with drug gangs in the Netherlands - was gunned down in Sarıyer when he stopped at a traffic light on the same day when the brother of a convicted Turkish mafia boss was shot dead in Nişantaşı.
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