Suspected triggerman captured near the border

Suspected triggerman captured near the border
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The suspect has been captured in an area close to the Turkish-Greek border, reportedly as he was preparing to flee the country.

The suspected killer of former Grey Wolves leader Sinan Ates was captured in Turkey's western border province of Edirne as he was trying to flee the country, journalist Alican Uludag of Deutsche Welle (DW) Turkish reported on Monday.

The man named Eray Ozyagci was captured by border guards in the district of Uzunkopru, east of the border with Greece, Uludag said.

Ozyagci was at large since the assassination of Sinan Ates in Ankara on 30 December 2022.

Journalist Tolga Sardan voiced a claim on Tuesday that Ozyagci was together with Tolga Demirbas, another key suspect in the case, when Demirbas met with Serdar Oktem, also a suspect, in the city of Bolu a while after the murder.

Demirbas, a former official of Grey Wolves and reportedly suspected of aiding Ozyagci flee, was earlier taken into custody, after he had been detained twice following the deadly incident, to be released each time.

Serdar Oktem, a lawyer and a candidate for the far right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the 2015 elections, was also arrested on charge of being involved in the murder. His mobile phone could not be inspected by the police for evidence, reportedly "because he did not have a recollection of the phone's password."

Ates had been removed from his post in April 2020 for reasons still unknown, and was subjected to accusations of factionalism and being affiliated with Gulenist movement (once a close ally, currently arch enemy of the ruling Justice and Development Party) by MHP officials.

MHP leader Devlet Bahceli has still not provided a comprehensive response to allegations that Ates's murder was the result of internal strife within MHP and that some party officials are involved in the murder.