8 captured in murder of man found hogtied in Istanbul
Çetin Aydın - ISTANBUL
AA PhotoEight suspects have been captured over the murder of an Armenian-origin Turkish homeowner, an assault on his wife and the burglary of their shared home on Feb. 6.
A special team formed by several officers from the homicide bureau of the Istanbul Police Department Public Order Unit captured three of the suspects in the Black Sea province of Trabzon late Feb. 9 while five other suspects, who were reported to have helped commit the burglary, were captured in Istanbul on the same day.
The move came days after Hagop Yakup Demirci, an 85-year-old Armenian man living in Istanbul’s Şişli district with his wife, Seta Ayda Demirci, 79, was found dead after the three burglars left the old Armenian couple hogtied inside their apartment, from which the burglars stole 100,000 Turkish Liras on Feb. 6. The body of Demirci was retrieved from the apartment located in Şişli’s Harbiye neighborhood with a ladder from the fire department.
After conducting a comprehensive investigation that studied video footage from security cameras placed at various locations along Cumhuriyet Avenue, a major road in Harbiye leading to Taksim Square, officers from the public order department gathered images showing the faces of the burglars, who were revealed to have gone to Trabzon with a rental car.
The other five, who were reported to have provided logistical support to the three burglars, were detained in Istanbul following an investigation conducted by the special team of homicide bureau officers.
The three burglars who were captured in Trabzon were preparing to travel to Batumi, a commercial hub in Georgia, with fake identity cards, police sources said, adding that the trio had former criminal records.
On Feb. 6, a cleaner came to the apartment of the couple at around 2 p.m. but could receive no response, prompting the person to inform the couple’s family and the police.
The couple was taken out of their apartment on the third floor of a building in a joint effort by police officers and firefighters. Hagop Yakup Demirci was pronounced dead while his wife was found severely wounded with her face bruised.
A special team formed by several officers from the homicide bureau of the Istanbul Police Department Public Order Unit captured three of the suspects, one of whom has been a servant for the Armenian couple, in the Black Sea province of Trabzon late Feb. 9 while five other suspects, who were reported to have helped commit the burglary, were captured in Istanbul on the same day. All eight of the suspects, five women and three men, were revealed to be Armenians upon a police investigation.
The burglary and murder led some to theorize that the attack might have had racist motives as it resembled the assassination of Armenian-origin Turkish journalist Hrant Dink in the same neighborhood on Jan. 19, 2007. Just like the three burglary and murder suspects, Dink’s murderer, Ogün Samast, was also captured in Trabzon in the wake of the killing.
Samast, who was originally from Trabzon, came to Istanbul before shooting the prominent journalist on Cumhuriyet Avenue.