ISTANBUL, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- A total of 40 people were detained in Istanbul on Monday in sweeping pre-dawn raids in two neighborhoods.
The suspects were arrested in operation launched by 1,500 members of the special police forces and riot teams with helicopter support, according to a report from Daily News.
A long-barreled weapon and four pistols were seized during the raids in the Gulsuyu and Gulensu neighborhoods of the Maltepe district in the Anatolian side of Istanbul as well as the Gazi neighborhood of the Sultangazi district on the European side.
The raids came days after Interior Minister Muammer Guler vowed to crack down on illegal organizations, drug gangs and urban bandits after the appearance of a group of armed people at Thursday's commemoration ceremony for a slain anti-drug protester.
Clashes occurred Sunday night between a group of protesters and the police as the latter refused to permit the group to march to commemorate Gedik in Gulsuyu.
The protesters responded by throwing Molotov cocktails at the police, who intervened against the group with tear gas.