Notorious Turkish mafia boss Alaattin Çakıcı was released on Thursday as a result of a new law designed to free as many as 90,000 inmates early to ease the spread of the coronavirus in overcrowded prisons, Artı Gerçek news site reported.
Çakıcı was convicted of establishing and leading a criminal organisation, ordering a murder, instigating assault and insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, each of which carries a lengthy prison sentence.
He was a prominent name in the 1980s as a crime boss and indicted in 1995 for contracting the killing of his wife in front of their son before fleeing abroad. Following his 1998 extradition from France, Çakıcı was released from prison in 2002. In 2004, Çakıcı was extradited again, this time from Austria, and has been in prison since then.
The ruling Justice and Development Party stepped up efforts to reduce the population in Turkey’s overcrowded prisons as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Turkey’s parliament approved the law on Tuesday.
Opposition parties opposed the bill because it excludes tens of thousands of people in jail on terrorism charges, many of them for criticising the government, rather than carrying out acts of violence.