Turkish police tracing Russian envoy killer’s movements on Internet
ISTANBULThe assassin of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov, Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, repeatedly studied his target’s photo on the Internet, according to the police investigation into the Dec. 19 killing.
Altıntaş, who killed Karlov during a photo exhibition in Ankara’s Center of Modern Art, looked at the pictures from his housemate’s computer, daily Habertürk reported on Jan. 3.
The police had raided the house of Altıntaş and his housemate – a lawyer identified only as Serkan B. - as a part of the investigation carried out by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. A computer in their house in the Keçiören district of Ankara was taken to the police headquarters for examination.
Police traced the activities carried out on the computer and it was revealed that Karlov’s photo was examined more than once on different days. The police are also investigating who Altıntaş contacted on the days when he examined the pictures, and are also probing whether he was given the order to conduct the assassination.
The government has alleged that Altıntaş is a follower of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, an ally turned nemesis of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Sercan B.’s connections are also being examined by the police, and he has reportedly denied being a member of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). His wife’s uncle reportedly served as one of the FETÖ local leaders responsible for bringing couples together for marriage.
Sercan B. and his wife are thought to have married through this uncle, and it is also claimed that Sercan B. had been directing Altıntaş’s actions for the past five years.