Interior Ministry announced on Friday that a suspect in the 2002 murder of Associate Professor Necip Hablemitoğlu was caught by Bulgarian security forces.
Mustafa Levent Göktaş, a former colonel, was detained in Bulgaria’s Svilengrad, a town near the border with Türkiye, one day after Turkish authorities said that Interpol issued a “red notice” or an international arrest warrant for Göktaş. The ministry said proceedings for his extradition to Türkiye were underway.
A court in the capital Ankara has earlier issued a warrant for the capture of Göktaş on charges of homicide and membership of a criminal gang.
Hablemitoğlu, known for his exposé of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and a book detailing shady activities of German nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Türkiye, was shot dead outside his home on Dec. 18, 2002. Culprits of the murder have remained elusive for years. Nuri Gökhan Bozkır, a former officer like Göktaş, was found in Ukraine and extradited to Türkiye in January, speeding up the stalled investigation. Six suspects were detained in February for their links to Bozkır, mostly former officers. Three of them were later released, while two others were arrested and another suspect was released with judiciary control, a measure that involves restricting the movement of a suspect without imprisonment.
In June, authorities ordered more arrests in the investigation, including a warrant for Göktaş. Eight suspects were detained and four were released with judiciary control.