News & Politics

Turkey: 'We Know the Identity of the Terrorist Who Killed 39 People on New Year's Day'

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says they know the identity of the Butcher of Istanbul. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview on Wednesday that the authorities know the identity of the terrorist who committed a horrendous terror attack on New Year’s Day in Istanbul. The jihadist killed 39 people and wounded dozens more. He was able to flee from the scene afterwards by pretending to be a frightened party-goer.

Well, Cavusoglu says, Turkey finally knows who did it. That’s just great, isn’t it? How about authorities share this information publicly so Turkish society can be on the lookout for the psychopath? Show photos, names, known aliases — whatever is known about him. The more people search, the likelier it is that he’ll soon be apprehended.

Apparently, the Turkish government is taking a slightly different approach. Although he says he knows who the killer is, Cavusoglu added that he is not willing to share his identity just yet. Strangely, he didn’t give an explanation.

Alrighty then.

The minister also said that the Turkish authorities have arrested 20 individuals who are suspected of aiding and abetting the terrorist. That’s at least a good start, although it’s also incredibly worrying. After all, it implies that there’s a massive terror group active in Turkey. No “lone wolves” here; we’re talking about a pack. Heck, if this continues we’ll have to call it a jihadist army.

In any case, it’s obviously a good development that these individuals have been arrested. Turkey’s state of emergency has been prolonged (by three months), which means that the government has more tools available to interrogate these jihadist sympathizers and force them to give up any information they may have. I’m normally not in favor of declaring a state of emergency, but in this particular case there’s certainly an upside to it.