'The Monk' spotted hiding from cartel killers in Turkey
Exiled crime boss Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch has been spotted in the Turkish city of Istanbul and is believed to have been staying there "on and off" for the last number of months.
Gardai got information that 'The Monk' was spotted "walking around the centre" of Istanbul recently.
Hutch (53), who is the number-one target for the Kinahan cartel in their deadly feud with his family and associates, is not believed to have spent any time in Ireland for almost five months.
The last time publicity-shy Hutch was photographed was when he showed up in disguise at his slain older brother Eddie's funeral in February.
It is understood that 'The Monk' owns around a dozen properties in Turkey, which he bought over a decade ago.
Some of his associates also own properties there, including in the resort town of Kusadasi.
Sources have also revealed that 'The Monk' has spent time in Bulgaria, where he also has property interests, and the Hungarian capital Budapest.
All these locations are far safer for the head of the Hutch family to be based than his former base in Lanzarote, where it was reported he survived an assassination attempt at the start of the year.
The Kinahan cartel's major criminal contacts in Holland and mainland Spain have also made his Lanzarote base too dangerous for the exiled former gang boss, according to sources.
Apart from the murder threat from the cartel, 'The Monk' is also on the run from gardai who want to question him about the Regency Hotel murder of Crumlin cartel figure David Byrne (33).
Turkey has been a popular destination for Irish criminals to flee to over the years.
It is the country where gardai believe Finglas gangland criminal Jeffrey Finnegan (31) escaped to after he absconded from Shelton Abbey Prison in January, 2010.
Since the feud started, Hutch has seen his brother Eddie, best friend Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan and two of his nephews, Gary and Gareth, murdered.
Another of his nephews, Jonathan Hutch, and his dad Johnny Hutch, who is an older brother of 'The Monk', have been lucky to survive ruthless assassination attempts as part of the capital's deadly feud which has seen 10 murders.
There have also been attempts on the life of Hutch's brother Patrick 'Patsy' Hutch whose north-inner city home is subject to constant garda protection.
It was the murder of nephew Gary which started the feud on September 24 last year. A Kinahan associate was recently arrested in Spain for this crime.
After the murder, it emerged that 'The Monk' had previously organised the payment of €200,000 to the Kinahan cartel to spare his life and allow him to "retire" from the gang.
However, the Kinahan mob then reportedly reneged on this deal and demanded a further €200,000 from Gary's family.
The cartel's determination to wipe out associates of 'The Monk' has meant dozens of his extended family members have been warned about active threats against their life simply because they are related to the alleged crime godfather.
Many of these are innocent women, including a close relative who was forced to cancel her wedding plans earlier this year because of fears that the event would be targeted by the cartel.
However, the woman did get married later in the year.