Police teams raided the house of police officer Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, who gunned down Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, as he was giving a speech at an Ankara art gallery on Monday, in Aydın’s Söke district and detained family members for questioning at a police station.
Police officer Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş’s mother, Hamidiye Altıntaş, father, Esrafil Altıntaş, daughter, Seher Özeroğlu, and an unidentified woman were taken to Aydın in a police van following their questioning in Söke.
Altıntaş was born in 1994 in Turkey’s western province of Aydın. His graduation photo from the İzmir Rüştü Ünsal police academy has been circulating on social media. The gunman, who was serving in the Special Forces department in Ankara, reportedly shouted “Only death can take me from here” as he protested Russian involvement in Aleppo with slogans in both Turkish and Arabic. He vowed revenge against “all who have a part in the oppression,” in reference to Syria.
The gunman joined the police force in 2014 and was allegedly affiliated with the Turkish wing of the al-Nusra Front, although this has not yet been confirmed. A staunch pro-government journalist, Abdulkadir Selvi, said while live on CNNTürk that the gunman repeated a slogan of the al-Nusra Front, saying “We obey the jihadist order.”