Drug lord sought with red notice nabbed in Istanbul

A drug smuggler wanted by Interpol with a red notice, Urfi Çetinkaya, has been detained in a villa in Istanbul's Sarıyer district along with five other people.

Istanbul police's anti-terror unit raided the villa with the support of special operations team on late April 11. He was then taken to the police station after a health check.

On May 18, 1988, he was shot while trying to escape by disobeying the police's stop warning. The drug lord, who has been wheelchair-bound since then, was detained again in 1991 for possession of 46 kilos of heroin in Spain but was released after giving a statement. He was caught again in a 2000 operation and put in prison. However, he was released in 2003.

After 507 kilograms of heroin was seized, claimed to be the heaviest amount ever, in another operation carried out later in the same year, Çetinkaya was arrested within the scope of the investigation but was released again in 2011 due to his long detention. He then disappeared into thin air.

In 2013, the court, which envisaged a 60-year prison sentence for the defendants Çetinkaya, Talip Doğan and Enver Sarı for "producing heroin," reduced this sentence to 24 years.

Urfi Çetinkaya's brother, Aydın Çetinkaya, and his son, Ceyhan Çetinkaya, were detained earlier in an operation held in Istanbul last year.

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