Jan 12 2018

New suspect in Russian ambassador’s assassination is a Gülenist – Daily Sabah

Turkish authorities have issued an arrest order for a new suspect in relation to the December 2016 murder of Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov.

The suspect, identified only by his initials, V.K.A., was already in jail, Turkish pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah reported.

V.K.A., whom authorities say had a “key role” in the murder of the Russian envoy in Ankara, is a FETÖ member, the newspaper said, using Turkish government’s label for the Gülen Movement.

Ankara designates followers of the U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen as a terrorist organisation called the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation,” and accuses Gülen of masterminding the July 2016 coup. Gülen denies any involvement.

Daily Sabah wrote that V.K.A. used an encrypted chat app called ByLock, which is believed to be used among Gülen’s followers.

Turkish government dismissed tens of thousands of civil servants over using ByLock, and V.K.A. was among them, Daily Sabah said.

Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, the off-duty Turkish police officer who assassinated Karlov, was also a FETÖ member, Daily Sabah said.

Altıntaş was killed in a police operation to the scene. Five more suspects, including three police officers have been arrested in the probe, Daily Sabah wrote.