Timur Özkan, organizer of the exhibition where Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was shot dead in December, has been taken into custody, Turkish media outlets reported yesterday.
Karlov was shot dead by an off-duty police officer on Dec. 19 in Ankara as he was delivering a speech during an exhibition at an art gallery.
A report on Turkish TV station NTV's website claimed Özkan was detained, as a suspect, on Jan. 11. Police have conducted a search of his home, confiscating his computer and some documents.
Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, a police officer linked to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), shot dead the Russian envoy, who was attending a Russia-themed exhibition organized by Özkan, at a gallery in the capital's Çankaya district. Altıntaş was later killed in a shootout with police.
The incident rocked Turkey as it was trying to restore ties with Russia following a crisis over downing of a Russian jet for violating Turkish airspace. Moscow and Ankara later assured it would not harm the relations.
Meanwhile, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported six suspects were brought to a courthouse in Ankara yesterday for interrogation but did not name them. Several police officers with links to the FETÖ had been detained earlier for their links to Altıntaş while suspect's family was released after they were interrogated.
Turkish language daily, Sabah, had earlier claimed Özkan, the organizer was in close contact with fugitive FETÖ members. One of his contacts, Emre Uslu, is a prominent journalist linked to the terrorist group. He fled to the United States after prosecutors pressed terror charges against him.
The FETÖ is accused of inciting chaos in the country after their foiled coup attempt of July 15. In investigations following the murder, it once again came to spotlight and the Sabah reported that the killer, Altıntaş and his four colleagues were in preliminary intelligence reports for having links to the FETÖ, but no investigation or actions had been taken against them.
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