15,000 police launch major operation in Istanbul
A major operation was conducted by the Istanbul Police Department late on Sept. 20 with 15,000 police officers raiding numerous addresses simultaneously in all of the province's 39 districts, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
The operations were mainly centered in the central Beyoglu district's Tarlabashi neighborhood, which is perceived as an area with a high crime rate.
The operation was reinforced by helicopters and a drug detection dog as police searched all determined addresses, derelict buildings, gardens, and suspicious cars, raiding some houses by breaking their doors with rams.
A number of unregistered firearms, long-barreled weapons, cartridges, drugs, sharp objects, gambling products, money that is thought to have been earned in illegal ways, smuggled alcoholic beverages and cigarettes were seized. The seized items were displayed at the Gayrettepe Branch of Public Security.
A total of 610 people were detained in the operation, Anadolu Agency has reported, which started at 8 p.m. on Sept. 20 and ended at 1 a.m. on Sept. 21. Some 408 of those detained had already been sought by police, while 202 people were taken into custody for alleged involvement in crime.
Police also took criminal action against 397 people in terms of the law on misdemeanors, and against 1,432 drivers for traffic crimes.
Seven stolen cars were also seized, while 281 drivers were disqualified from driving.
Administrative sanctions were also issued on 162 workplaces, and fines worth a total of 657,891 Turkish Liras were handed out during the operation.
Istanbul Police Department head Selami Altinok oversaw the operation in Taksim and briefed reporters, saying the police aimed to "ensure the public's safety by preventing crime before it is committed."
Altınok said the operation's results were positive, underlining that the police department was "working for the safety of Istanbul residents."
The operation was the first major step by Altinok since his appointment as Istanbul Police Department head following the Dec. 17, 2013, graft operation, while it also followed a recent reshuffle in which Vasip Shahin replaced Huieyin Avni Mutlu as governor of Istanbul.