Suspected killer says received gun from police on night of failed coup

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Mustafa Maraş, a man who is standing trial for killing a tractor driver and injuring his brother in an incident that took place in Ankara province last year, said in his defense that he received the gun he used in the murder from the Ankara police on the night of a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016, the Hürriyet daily reported on Thursday.

Maraş killed tractor driver İdris Demircioğlu and injured his brother Cesur after a dispute on July 30, 2016. An MP5 type gun, a submachine gun generally used by military, law enforcement, intelligence and security units around the world, was used in the murder.

The sale of MP5 guns to civilians is banned in Turkey according to a security official who spoke to Hürriyet.

When asked by the judge at the first hearing of his trial at the Ankara 10th High Criminal Court on May 31 about how he obtained the weapon he used in the murder, Maraş said: “The gun was one of those distributed [to civilians] in front of the Ankara Police Department on the night of the coup night [on July 15]. I got it from there. I never used the gun before.”

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt.

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