Police school changed assassin of Russian envoy: Sister

Police school changed assassin of Russian envoy: Sister

Banu Şen - İZMİR
Police school changed assassin of Russian envoy: Sister Going to police school changed Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, the off-duty police officer who killed Russia’s ambassador to Turkey last week, according to the deceased officer’s sister.

Seher Ö. said her 22-year-old brother had no dream of becoming a police officer.

“My father died when I was little. My mother married again when I was 4 years old. My grandparents raised us because my mother was working. We as a whole neighborhood went to the mosque in the summer. So I learned to read the Quran but I did not continue. My brother learned to read, too. He went to Friday and tarawih prayers when he was little. But he started to perform prayer five times a day in police school. He was a hardworking student. He had no dream of becoming a police officer. We made this decision as a family. He took an exam for the police school. We wanted this job for him because it was a guarantee and it was cheaper than other schools,” she said.

Contrary to claims, Altıntaş did not study at the private Körfez cram school, which was allegedly run by the Gülen movement, Seher Ö. said.

“He definitely did not register at the Körfez school and no businessman helped us [as claimed]. My mother subsidized my brother for the educational fee. I registered at the Körfez course, not my brother. Anyway, there was no FETÖ [Fethullahist Terror Organization] in those days. I and a lot of friends registered at the school in 1999,” she said.  

The Gülenist movement is accused of leading the July 15 coup attempt, and some observers have sought to link Altıntaş and the ambassador’s murder with the movement, in part by saying he attended the Körfez cram school.

She also said they as a family never forced him to perform religious obligations.

“My brother was going to swim until he started police school. I know he was drinking alcohol. We never forced him to read the Quran or perform prayers. We are not that kind of family,” she said. 

She said she contacted her brother five times at most in the last year.

“I did not watch the video [of the assassination] completely. I watched it on mute because I did not want to hear his voice. I saw that he was acting weirdly in the video,” she said. 

She said she could not believe that it was her brother who had killed the Russian ambassador, Andrey Karlov, adding that he had been brainwashed and kept away from his family. 

“He always said he would advance and he would be superior. He was brainwashed and kept away from us. Some people are saying that we raised him that way, but we did not. He didn’t wear a suit and he does not know Arabic,” she said.

She also mentioned a man identified only by the initial of S.

“He was always talking about S. He arrived in İzmir for S.’ wedding on the night of the July 15 coup attempt. He called us, saying he got off the plane and that things were crazy there. He said their situation was uncertain. He asked for blessings from us,” she said.

She remarked that he was always with S.

“They met in the second year of police school. They rented a house in Ankara and lived there until S. got married. Even if he was on the duty, S. was with him,” she added.

She stated that he succeeded on an exam to become a bodyguard for the president.

“[Mert and S.] took an exam to guard the president in Ankara and they won. But they had been police officers for less than one year, so they were not accepted. But I’m thinking about this now. Fortunately, they weren’t able to become the president’s bodyguards,” she said.