Istanbul Nightclub Shooting: Statements, Allegations, and Lack of Verifiable Evidence
nsnbc : With Turkey’s media having largely been reduced to State propaganda machines, journalists too intimidated to speak on the record, officials to even speak off the record to journalists, all that there remains is to summarize the statements and allegations floated by “official” sources, while underpinning the fact that no independently verifiable evidence about the shooting at the Reina night club in Istanbul New Year’s night has been made available to any media.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry stated, among others, that “a foreign intelligence service” must have been involved because the shooting required detailed planning. No foreign country or intelligence service was specifically mentioned. Early allegations also focused on Kurds, especially the PKK and at networks around Fetullah Gülen, who is resident in the USA, and known for close ties to US, NATO and Turkish intelligence networks.
Police has since then detained suspects in the province after allegedly determining that three families with alleged connections to the Reina nightclub attacker, who is believed to be from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), moved there from the Central Anatolian province of Konya right after the attack.
Prior to that it was claimed that an alleged ISIL militant allegedly using the nom du guerre “Ebu Muhammed Horasani” resided in Konya before allegedly moving to Istanbul to stage the attack.
Authorities allegedly also determined that the attacker had connections to the aforementioned three families in the province. Their houses were raided and fake passports and objects used in war zones, including cartridge belts, were allegedly found in searches conducted in three houses.
No evidence was provided to the press, no independent verification was possible, no independent witnesses allowed while the houses were ransacked – a detail that would be considered as a right in most countries that appreciate civil rights – even though “the new normal” with states of emergency in France, for example, also slowly but steadily undermines judicial principles for which people have paid in blood and imprisonment.
Purportedly newly emerged details, it is claimed by unnamed law enforcement officers, show that the key figures of the jihadist group were among those detained in the province. Some of the detainees allegedly had personal contact with the alleged ISIL militant or had knowledge of the attack beforehand.
It has previously been claimed that the attacker boarded a bus in Konya to travel to Istanbul and that he was with one of ISIL’s “emirs,” “Yusuf Hoca,” on Dec. 15, 2016. According to the new details, Yusuf Hoca allegedly did not board the bus but also left Konya right after the attack. Authorities are now evaluating whether another ISIL attack was planned other than the Reina attack. A bag that was allegedly delivered by another bus from Konya to Istanbul on Dec. 15, 2016, contained a pistol and ammunition that could possibly have been used for an assassination, reported Milliyet.
It’s noteworthy that in March 2014, a leaked released wiretap included a conversation between PM Erdogan and the 75 year-old owner of the Miliyet newspaper, Demiören in which Erdogan holds Demiören personally accountable for a news story which was “inconvenient” for the ruling AKP, causing the owner of the newspaper to, literally, break out in tears and cry. So much to the “independence” or journalistic freedom and credibility of that newspaper.
That said, according to the investigation, a bag with the names of two intended recipients was allegedly delivered to the bus assistant. The employee, however, allegedly became suspicious about the person delivering the bag and notified police, who discovered a Sig Sauer pistol and nearly 50 bullets in the bag.
Police in Konya reportedly then notified Istanbul police, and the people who were supposed to receive the bag, A. Abulizi and O. Asım, were detained. It was allegedly determined that Abulizi was related to W. Abulizi, who was connected to the alleged ISIL militant who allegedly carried out the Reina attack while he was in Konya. The police later claimed that Abulizi had moved from Konya to İzmir. It is not yet clear whether Abulizi was among those detained in İzmir.
According to newly surfaced footage, that could not be independently verified by nsnbc international, the Reina attacker apparently went to a parking lot after conducting the attack in an attempt to conceal himself. The owner of the parking lot in Kuruçeşme reportedly told the likewise heavily State-censored daily Hürriyet that the ISIL militant tried to hide between cars after seeing the police cars, but left after a short while. He reportedly alleged that he understood that he was the attacker after the police revealed his face.
According to likewise not independently verifiable allegations, police discovered that the alleged ISIL militant had sent drone footage of several areas of Istanbul, including Beşiktaş, Bakırköy and Taksim, to jihadists abroad through an app called “Alrawi.” Militants have allegedly been speaking on the app since November 2016, when the attacker arrived in Turkey. The militants also examined the New Year’s programs of several nightclubs and restaurants.
CH/L – nsnbc 06.01.2017
A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad”. – Albert Camus