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Ex-MP investigated in murder of former Grey Wolves leader

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A former lawmaker from the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has been included in the murder investigation of Sinan Ateş, a former leader of the Grey Wolves, the party’s youth wing, the T24 news website reported on Tuesday.

Ateş, also an academic, was fatally shot in the capital city of Ankara in late December. He was leaving an apartment in Kızılırmak with a friend when they were attacked by two men on motorcycles. He was seriously injured by a bullet to the head and pronounced dead shortly after being taken to a hospital.

Suspect Tolgahan Demirbaş, a former senior official of the Grey Wolves who is accused of aiding the perpetrators of Ateş’s murder, was detained in a house belonging to then-MHP MP Olcay Kılavuz.

Former Mersin lawmaker Kılavuz, also a former Grey Wolves leader, was named as a suspect in the investigation a month prior to the May 14 general elections. His file was separated from the main case and sent to the parliamentary office due to his status as an MP.

According to T24, the former MP, accused of “aiding in the murder” of Ateş, is expected to have his file at the parliamentary office reattached to the main case due to his failure to be reelected in May.

T24 also reported that deputy chief prosecutor Ahmet Altun, linked to the MHP, wanted to withdraw from the case, but Ankara Chief Prosecutor Ahmet Akça rejected the request. Altun has since taken leave, possibly due to unease about developments and concerns about his involvement in the case, T24 said.

It is also alleged that Altun made special efforts to prevent a crucial document from being added to the investigation file but was unable to do so, leading to his decision to withdraw.

Ateş, who had served as the president of the Grey Wolves between 2019 and 2020, was directly dismissed by MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli and has been the target of the group’s members on social media. He also drew a reaction from MHP members for taking a photo with figures from the nationalist opposition İYİ (Good) Party.

In 2020 France officially banned the Grey Wolves after a center dedicated to the memory of those who died in the mass killings of Armenians during World War I was defaced with graffiti, including the name of the Grey Wolves.

Earlier last year, the European Parliament called on the European Union and its member states to examine the possibility of adding the Grey Wolves to the EU terrorist list.

In its 2019-2020 report prepared by Turkey rapporteur Nacho Sanchez Amor, the EP voiced concerns about the group, saying it was expanding to worrying levels not only in Turkey but also in EU countries.

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