Turkish police nab suspects in deadly church attack

Turkish security forces have apprehended suspects in a shooting at a Catholic church in Istanbul that left one person dead, said Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

"Two murder suspects who caused the death of our citizen Tuncer Cihan during Sunday mass at Sariyer Santa Maria Church have been caught," Yerlikaya told reporters.

"I congratulate our Istanbul police and heroic police officers who identified and caught the perpetrators. I once again express my condolences to the family and relatives of our citizen who lost his life.

“Both suspects are of foreign nationality. We assess that the suspects -- one Tajikistani and the other Russian -- are affiliated with the Daesh/ISIS terror group,” he added.

Throughout the day, Turkish security forces conducted raids on 30 addresses, resulting in the apprehension of 47 suspects so far, Yerlikaya told reporters.

Two gunmen opened fire on worshippers Sunday at the church in Istanbul's Sariyer district, killing one, officials said earlier.

Condemning the “heinous attack,” Istanbul Governor Davut Gul told reporters that the victim of the attack was 52 years old and that no one was injured.

Yerlikaya earlier said the incident took place at 11.40 a.m. local time (0840GMT), during morning mass at Sariyer Santa Maria Church in Istanbul’s Buyukdere neighborhood.

“A large-scale investigation” is underway to catch the suspects, Yerlikaya said on X, adding: “We strongly condemn this heinous attack.”

The motive for the attack is unknown.

Yerlikaya told reporters that police were working hard to solve the crime.

Noting that there are many places of worship in Istanbul and that worship is carried out freely at each of them in a peaceful and safe environment, he said all of Türkiye’s faith communities appreciate this secure environment.

"Those who try to disrupt the unity and solidarity of our nation will never succeed. I want to especially underline this,” he said.

“Those who threaten the peace and safety of our citizens will never achieve their goals,” Türkiye’s Justice and Development (AK) Party spokesperson Omer Celik also said in a brief statement on X.

News.Az 



News.Az 

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