Turkish media group head arrested over Russian ambassador killing

The head of a Turkish media group has been arrested on charges of plotting the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey.

An Ankara court ordered Guru Media Group President Hayreddin Aydınbaş to be detained after he gave his statement in relation to the incident on Wednesday, Takvim newspaper said.

Andrei Karlov was shot dead by off-duty policeman Mert Altıntaş at an art exhibition opening on Dec. 19, 2016.

Altıntaş was heard shouting “Don’t forget Aleppo!” in Turkish and “God is greatest” in Arabic in the wake of the killing before being shot dead by security forces.

Aydınbaş also faces charges of having been an active member of the Gülen movement, which he says he left in 2008.

However, the prosecutor claimed he had been in telephone contact with Önder Aytaç, a former lecturer at Turkey’s police academy with strong ties to the Gülen movement, in 2012 and 2013.

Guru Media Group publishes three magazines on Russia and Central Asia and produces a weekly television programme on Turkey’s links with Eurasia for state channel TRT Avaz.

Aydınbaş is the third person to be arrested by a court in relation to the crime; the other two suspects are former policemen.