05:04 GMT15 June 2021
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    An investigation into the assasination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov has found that his murderer had contacts with police officers, who had been fired after an attempted military coup in Turkey in July.

    Karlov was shot and killed at the opening of an art gallery exhibition opening by Turkish off-duty police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas on Monday. Three more people were injured in the shooting. The Russian Foreign Ministry said it considered the attack a terrorist attack.

    The investigation has found that the Russian envoy's assassin contacted several people, who used a program of exchanging encrypted messages ByLock, which had been used by members of the group supporting opposition Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, FETO, Anadolu news agency reported.

    According to the agency's police source, the General Prosecutor's Office in Ankara examined data from the mobile phone of the Russian ambassador's murderer jointly with Russian experts from the Moscow Police Department.

    Five police officers, as well as a police commissioner and his deputy, who were using the program and were fired after an attempted coup on July 15, were among Mevlut Mert Altintas' contacts. His links to them are currently being investigated.

    On July 15, a military coup attempt took place in Turkey. Ankara accused Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who has been living in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers of playing a key role in the coup. Since July, Turkey has arrested hundreds of military and police personnel, activists and journalists on suspicion of links with Gulen.

    Earlier in December, the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) decided to recognize FETO (Fethullah Terrorist Organization) that Ankara blames for the July coup attempt, to be a terrorist organization.


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