Turkish security forces on Wednesday detained 20 suspects with links to an organized crime ring engaged in armed conflicts with other gangs, along with the ringleader during simultaneous operations in Istanbul and two other provinces, following years of investigating the organization's activities.
The Istanbul police's anti-organized crime units conducted simultaneous operations against the gang, known as "Sarallar" ("The Sarals," after the family name of the group's leader).
Burhanettin Saral and 20 other gang members were detained. Police also seized weapons and ammunition in raids on their properties. The gang had involved in long-time conflicts with other gangs, namely the "Şahinler" according to investigations, and have been behind the deaths of a number of individuals.
Over the course of the 2000s, some 5,000 people have been detained in connection with the Sarallar and Şahinler gangs but some, including Burhanettin Saral, were later released.