ANKARA, January 11. /TASS/. Turkey’s security forces have arrested a man who allegedly played a "key" role in the murder of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov, the Daily Sabah newspaper reported on Thursday.
The suspect, identified with his initials V.K.A., was re-arrested for his involvement in the 2016 murder. He was earlier arrested for links to the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) of Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen.
Investigators say the suspect used ByLock, an encrypted messaging app. This app was exclusively used by the terrorist group during the attempted coup d’etat in July 2016, according to the paper.
Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was shot dead in December 2016 while he was delivering a speech at the opening ceremony of a photo exhibition in Ankara. The attacker, police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas, was killed. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Karlov’s murder was a terrorist attack. Russia’s Investigative Committee launched a criminal case into "the act of international terrorism." Karlov was awarded the honorary title of Hero of Russia posthumously.
In December 2017, the Daily Sabah reported citing the official statement of Turkish prosecutors that the killer had links to Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen. Gulen had met with the killer and all information had been sent to the killer’s telephone, the prosecutor’s office said.
Ankara holds Gulen, who has resided in the United States starting from 1999, and his organization FETO responsible for masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.