Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş – 22-year-old Turkish police officer who assassinated Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov on December 19, 2016. According to phone records, he knew Tahsin Şenlik, a Turkish building contractor who lives in the Turkish capital.
Yet in the statement he gave the police, Şenlik denied he knew the killer and falsely claimed he had never spoken to him or met him.
The investigation shows that the killer actually talked to Şenlik twice on the phone in the morning hours of September 5, 2016, as well as, based on the financial records, the killer wired funds to the organization run by Şenlik as a front to raise funds for jihadist groups.
The contractor has for some time been leading a jihadist organization called the Musab Bin Umeyir Association for Mosque Building, Maintenance, Education and Culture (Musab Bin Umeyr Camii Yaptırma Yaşatma Eğitim ve Kültür Derneği), the stated purpose of which was to raise funds for construction of a mosque but whose real purpose is to fund jihadist groups operating in Syria, Iraq and other places. The mosque that was built functioned as a hub for jihadist figures even though the operation was handed over to the government’s religious authority, the Diyanet.
Şenlik is also linked to Sedat Peker, a convicted mafia leader who has threatened Russia, Europe, and Israel in the past. Peker’s links to the government helped him escape imprisonment and new charges until he fell out with Erdoğan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak earlier this year and fled Turkey.
The Turkish prosecutor who investigated the murder of the Russian envoy in 2016 overlooked the connection of the killer to Şenlik and did not even list him as a suspect in the case.