Police launched simultaneous operations yesterday in seven cities and detained 53 suspects linked to Alattin Çakıcı, a jailed mob boss who rose to fame in the late 1980s.
The suspects, including a policeman and two lawyers, are accused of operating the gang under secret orders from Çakıcı who is jailed in a prison in central Turkey.
Early Thursday morning, organized crime police raided several locations in Istanbul, Ankara, the southern city of Antalya, the central city of Kırıkkale where Çakıcı is imprisoned, the northwestern city of Bursa, the northern city of Tokat and the southeastern city of Mardin. The manhunt is underway for 20 other suspects.
Police also found 12 pistols, two shotguns and munitions in the possession of suspects. Ejder K., a suspect captured in Antalya, is accused of leading a gang loyal to Çakıcı in this Mediterranean city.
Authorities accuse the suspects of an armed attack at an Istanbul hospital where doctors allegedly refused to treat Çakıcı, a shooting that targeted an official in another hospital in the northern city of Bolu where Çakıcı was briefly imprisoned and breaking the legs of the deputy warden of the prison where the mob boss is currently held. They are also accused of shooting former gang members in the leg - mafia-style - of those that split from the gang and sharing videos of the shootings online. They are also charged with extortion.
Çakıcı made a name for himself in the Turkish underworld in the late 1980s, and his name was associated with shootings and beatings. In 1995, he was indicted in the killing of his former wife and fled abroad. Çakıcı was captured in France, extradited to Turkey in 1998 and released from prison in 2002. He was indicted in another case in 2004 and was extradited from Austria, where he fled. Since then, he has remained imprisoned for various crimes.