Russian ambassador’s killer secret FETÖ member: Court verdict
A Turkish court on April 18 concluded its reasoned decision on the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Ankara Andrey Karlov.
In a detailed verdict, the court reasoned that Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, an off-duty police officer who killed the ambassador in 2016 at a time of the reconciliation of Turkish-Russian relations, was a secret member of FETÖ.
The verdict said the assassination was the work of terrorist group’s infiltrators in law enforcement and the National Intelligence Organization (MİT).
Altıntaş was killed in a shootout with police after he gunned down Karlov during an art event in Ankara on Dec. 19, 2016.
In a trial of the assassination that concluded in March, five people were sentenced to life imprisonment. They included civilians who were accused of working as “handlers” of Altıntaş on behalf of the FETÖ.
According to the verdict, Altıntaş was chosen by FETÖ and was secretly raised as a loyal member of the group.
The verdict noted that Altıntaş was included in different religious groups with an order of the group after 2013 in order not to be identified.
‘Order given by Gülen’
Defendant Vehbi Kürşad Akal, who was in the organization’s MİT structure, gathered information about whether Karlov had a bodyguard and conveyed the information to another defendant, Hüseyin Kötüce, the verdict said.
Kötüce further conveyed the information in a series to Fetullah Gülen, the leader of the organization, and then the assassination order given by Gülen was forwarded to Altıntaş, it noted.
The verdict also said that the assassination was part of a chain of events perpetrated by FETÖ, including the 2016 coup attempt, the work of the military infiltrators of the group.
“Spoiling Russian-Turkish relations was only one of the goals of the attack, and others were to boost the morale of the members of FETÖ and pave the way for the coup attempt,” the verdict said.