Fugitive suspect in Turkish academic’s murder caught

Fugitive suspect in Turkish academic’s murder caught

Fugitive suspect in Turkish academic’s murder caught

Interior Ministry has announced that a suspect in the 2002 murder of academic Necip Hablemitoğlu, who was known for his research and books on FETÖ, has been caught in Bulgaria.

Fugitive retired colonel Mustafa Levent Göktaş, one of the suspects of the assassination of Ankara University’s Necip Hablemitoğlu, was caught in Svilengrad, Bulgaria,” the ministry said in a written statement.

Göktaş was caught by Bulgarian security forces after Interpol issued a “red notice” for him, and the Justice Ministry has started proceedings for Göktaş’s extradition to Türkiye.

Stating that he personally talked with the Bulgarian counterpart twice, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu underlined that the Turkish Embassy to Bulgaria, ​​the Turkish Foreign Ministry and Türkiye’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) were in talks.

The suspect will either be deported or the court process will take place, Soylu said. “No matter which, we look forward to both of these processes.”

Hablemitoğlu was assassinated in 2002 in front of his house, but the case was never solved.

In the footage, included in the case files, collected from a supermarket near Hablemitoğlu’s house in the capital Ankara, Hablemitoğlu was seen walking between the aisles while shopping.

On Dec. 15, 2019, a suspected murderer and fugitive linked to FETÖ, the terrorist group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye, was arrested in Ukraine.

But, he was released after spending three months in jail and was put under house arrest.

Bozkır sought asylum in Ukraine, but local authorities refused his application in December 2020, and in the same month ruled for his extradition to Türkiye. The suspect’s lawyers appealed against the extradition decision. Bozkır failed to appear in several appeal hearings.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also noted the suspect also had ties with ISIL, providing guns and ammunition to the terrorist organization.

Hablemitoğlu had branded the FETÖ as a criminal organization in his works.

FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.

In 2015, prosecutors in Türkiye’s capital Ankara launched an investigation into FETÖ’s involvement in unsolved murders committed between 2000 and 2013.

The assassination of a member of Türkiye’s Council of State (2006), judge candidate Didem Yaylalı (2013) and Behçet Oktay (2009), the head of Ankara police’s Special Operations Department, are some of the unsolved cases.