Police chief who caught Turkish ‘serial killer’ arrested over Gülen links
İZMİRA police chief who helped catch a Turkish “serial killer” has been arrested in the Menderes district of İzmir over his links to the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, the alleged mastermind of the failed July 15 coup attempt.
Menderes District Police Chief Ramazan Karakuş previously hit the headlines for leading the team that apprehended Atalay Filiz, who was wanted in connection with three murders.
The police launched an investigation into police officers at the İzmir Police Department after the failed seizure of government, and security personnel using the smartphone application ByLock in order to communicate with members of the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) were determined as part of the probe, Doğan News Agency reported Aug. 30.
ByLock, an encrypted messaging service, came to prominence after the coup bid amid reports that the coup plotters had been using it to communicate. Thousands of names suspected of having links with FETÖ were determined following investigations of the messages on the service.
A total of 96 personnel, including managers who were suspended on Aug. 16, police officers and wardens, were detained by anti-terror police over suspected links to the Gülenists. Some 33 of the detained were sent to court on Aug. 26 and all were arrested. Another 22 people were sent to court on Aug. 29, including Karakuş.
The suspects denied using ByLock or any connections to FETÖ, but 20 of the 22 were arrested, while two were released on judicial control.
Filiz was caught in İzmir after being recognized by a passerby, leading to his apprehension on June 12. The police had been on high alert for Filiz, who was also sought internationally. Filiz pled guilty to killing three people, including a Russian citizen.
The İzmir Governor’s Office and İzmir Police Department gave rewards to the police officers involved in the operation to catch Filiz and the people who notified the police regarding his whereabouts.
Karakuş was among the police officers who received a reward for his efforts during the operation.