Turkish ‘serial killer’ returns as suspect in teacher’s murder

Turkish ‘serial killer’ returns as suspect in teacher’s murder

Fevzi Kızılkoyun – ANKARA
Turkish ‘serial killer’ returns as suspect in teacher’s murder A suspected serial killer has reappeared in Turkey as the prime suspect in the murder of a 40-year-old teacher in Istanbul’s Tuzla district after three years on the run. 

Atalay Filiz, who is being sought internationally with a red notice for the alleged murder of two people, including a Russian woman, is enrolled at a top PhD program and is fluent in four languages, according to initial reports. 

The return of the suspected killer came to light when the neighbors of a history teacher, Fatma Kayıkçı, reported hearing cries from her apartment in Tuzla’s Postane neighborhood on May 27.  

Local police launched an investigation after Kayıkçı was reported missing, finding a pair of the woman’s shoes alongside traces of her blood at the apartment of one of her neighbors residing on the ground floor. 

An investigation into the suspected neighbor’s identity revealed that the man, who introduced himself as Furkan Altın, was in fact Filiz and was being sought for the murder of two people. Meanwhile, police found Kayıkçı’s body on May 28, buried beneath a tree in a nearby uncultivated plot of land. 

According to reports, Filiz was being sought internationally with a red notice for the murder of Göktuğ Demiraraslan, the son of Maj. Gen. Hasan Hüseyin Demirarslan, and his Russian girlfriend, Elena Radchikova, on Sept. 16, 2013. 

Filiz was a childhood friend of Göktuğ Demiraraslan, as both their fathers were soldiers, and shared a house together in France when Filiz continued his education abroad as part of an exchange program during his PhD studies at Ankara’s Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), one of the nation’s top universities. 

Upon his return to Turkey, Filiz plotted to kill both Demiraraslan and Radchikova, and murdered the couple with a rifle as they were entering their home.

Meanwhile, Filiz’s former girlfriend, also a Russian national and friends with Radchikova, a woman named Olga Seregina, has also been missing since 2013 amid reports that she might also been murdered by the man. 

Following the double murder, Filiz allegedly crossed the border into Greece and remained on the run for two years. He is believed to have returned to Turkey in 2014 using a counterfeit passport and lived under a false identity since. 

He does, however, has an online presence on a social networking site popular in Russia, where he introduces himself as a single man from Istanbul who speaks English, French and Italian alongside Turkish. The man also singled out Dostoevsky’s masterpiece dealing with the psychology and moral dilemmas of a murderer, “Crime and Punishment,” as his favorite book. 

As part of the investigation into Kayıkçı’s murder, video footage of Filiz carrying the teacher’s body inside a wheeled suitcase has emerged, with police retrieving the bag from a waste container. Security sources say around 3,000 Turkish Liras believed to be in Kayıkçı’s personal bag were missing amid suspicions that it was stolen by the murderer.

Speaking to reporters, Kayıkçı’s stepson, Bekir Kayıkçı, said Filiz started working at their family’s teahouse as a boarding employee a year and a half ago, claiming to have ran away from his family home to show his parents that he was able to stand on his own two feet. 

“He was someone we did not believe to be very smart. He seemed miserable and wretched,” he said, adding that they could not insure him as an employee because he did not want insurance, claiming to be indebted. 
Kayıkçı’s funeral was held on May 29 in Tuzla, with the attendance of her two children, a 13-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl.

Filiz, meanwhile, remains on the run.