Turkey, Konya massacre killer detained

Fugitive who murdered 7 members of the same family arrested

“They started yelling at me, so I shot them,” said the alleged murderer of 4 women and 3 men from a rival family, whom he finished off on the ground.

The fugitive and main suspect as the alleged murderer of 7 members of the same family in the Konya province, in central Turkey, has finally been detained by the police after spending almost a week on the run from authorities, according to Turkish media.

Mehmet Altun, the alleged perpetrator of the massacre that occurred in a house in the Meram district, on the outskirts of the city of Konya, was located by the Turkish security forces after spending 6 days hidden in a cemetery in the small municipality of Bozkır, some 100 kilometres south of the city of Konya, in possession of a weapon – supposedly the one he used to commit the crime – and 18 bullets.

After his arrest, Altun was transferred to Konya for questioning at the police station – after previously undergoing a medical examination – and later a local court ordered his imprisonment. So far the police have arrested 14 people in connection with the massacre, which occurred on July 30; among them Altun’s wife, parents and sister: of them, 10 have been arrested by court order, pending trial.

In his first statement to the police, Altun said he had gone to the house – belonging to the Dedeoğu family, with whom the Altun family had a tense dispute for more than a decade – to attempt an alleged reconciliation. Both families were of Kurdish background, and according to some information besides personal problems there could be also political discrepancies. “I was wearing a mask, and to enter the garden, I introduced myself as a municipal worker,” said the detainee.

In his statement, he adds that when he took off his mask the rival family recognised him: “They started yelling at me, so I shot them,” he added in his testimony. All the victims – 4 women and 3 men, including minors – were members of the same family. Following the massacre, the now-detained fugitive finished off the victims in the ground with his weapon, and subsequently attempted to set the house on fire before fleeing.