Investigators discovered Reşat Nazmi Oral, a senior handler for the Gülenist Terror Group's (FETÖ) military infiltrators, was associated with a fugitive suspect in the murder of Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov.
Karlov was killed on Dec. 19, 2016, by Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, an off-duty police officer linked to FETÖ, in an art gallery in the capital Ankara. Altıntaş was killed in an ensuing shootout with police in the gallery. Prosecutors say FETÖ and "foreign powers that used the group" had aimed to derail Turkey-Russia bilateral relations through the assassination and "drive the countries toward a possible conflict" as well as "create chaos ahead of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt" by FETÖ.
Oral, code-named "Usame" by the group's fugitive leader Fetullah Gülen, was an "imam" or handler for several critical FETÖ figures in the coup attempt. He gave the names of more than 100 people linked to FETÖ after his capture in the capital Ankara last month. Among them were 31 high-ranking military officers.
According to investigators, Oral and Cemal Karaata, another FETÖ handler who was in charge of the group's infiltrators in the National Intelligence Directorate (MİT) were in the "same FETÖ cell," while Oral admitted that Karaata, who used the alias "Sadık," answered to him.
Karaata was an academic at the FETÖ-linked Fatih University. An indictment against him says Karaata collected information about Karlov's security detail from his subordinates in FETÖ and relayed them to Cengiz Özkan, the group's senior handler for MİT infiltrators and FETÖ leader Gülen.