President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Wednesday the slain Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov's assassin is obviously a member of the Gülenist terror cult (FETÖ) in a press conference with his Albanian counterpart.
"The assassin of the Russian ambassador is obviously a member of FETÖ. There is no need to hide it," the president said.
"Where he grew up, and all connections reveal this [FETÖ membership]," he said
Erdoğan said that the assassin's international links were being investigated by the Turkish National Intelligence Service (MIT).
A day before Erdoğan's speech, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also told his U.S. counterpart John Kerry that both Russia and Turkey are aware of Gülen's involvement in the assassination of the Russian envoy. The two ministers had a phone call upon Kerry's request.
The ambassador was killed during a speech at an exhibition in Ankara on Monday by a gunman dressed as a guard.
A total of 12 suspects have been arrested so far in connection with the assassination.
FETÖ is run by a fugitive named Fetullah Gülen who lives in self-imposed exile in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains in rural Pennsylvania. Through his middlemen and militants embedded in the key institutions of the state and the military, the top terrorist tried to overthrow Turkey's democratically elected governments in the December 17-25 operations and the July 15 military coup bid, both which failed.