Virgil 'The Turk' Sollozzo is a top narcotics man who works for the Tattaglia family. He is portrayed by Al Lettieri.
Known as the Turk because of his background, and also listed as being very good with a knife, Virgil Sollozzo had already gained a reputation as a top narcotics man before he came back to America in the 40s.
Sollozzo arrived in New York and enlisted the aid of the Tattaglia family for his new heroin business, buying a warehouse in Midtown and beginning drug fronts in each of the districts of New York. He also secretly had the support of the Barzini Family, who assisted him in his business,. and was the mastermind behind his scheme to dominate the narcotics business. He then went to the Corleone family to obtain money and protection from the police and courts. Vito Corleone refuses, however, feeling that the drug business is bad for the neighborhoods.
Sollozzo's men then attempt to murder Vito Corleone, assuming that Vito's oldest son Sonny, who seemed to want to go into the heroin trade, would take over the family. To cement the deal, Sollozzo also kidnapped the Family consigliere, Tom Hagen, brought him to the deserted Joe's Diner in Brooklyn, and perusaded him to make a deal with Sonny.
When they succeed only in wounding him, Sollozzo sends agents to the hospital, where the guards are off duty thanks to strings pulled by Captain McCluskey, a police captain on his payroll, and try again to kill Don Corleone. Vito's son, Michael, however, arrives on the scene and prevents his father's murder.
Sollozzo alerted McCluskey of the men still guarding Corleone, and the police captain, enraged, arrived at the hospital and broke Michael's jaw, but was restrained from further action by Tom Hagen.
Soon thereafter, Sollozzo, under McCluskey's protection, meets with Michael in a restaurant. Although Michael is frisked before the meeting, a revolver had been planted on the back of a toilet in the lavatory of the restaurant. Michael excuses himself and goes to the bathroom and retrieves the revolver. He then returns: for a brief moment, everything is normal; then Michael draws the gun and shoots Sollozzo in the forehead, killing him instantly. He quickly shoots McCluskey in the neck, and then again in the forehead.
This action forced Michael to leave the country for Sicily until the heat of the Five Families War died down. It was also evidence used against Michael by both the Senate Commitee in the hearings against the Mafia, and later by Carlo Tramonti of New Orleans to deface Michael's image in front of the Commission.