Temel Alsancak, one of the suspected organizers of the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Türkiye Andrey Karlov in 2016, is reportedly enjoying a lavish lifestyle in the US, the Sabah newspaper has claimed, citing sources within the Turkish intelligence community.
Alsancak, who is believed to be a member of what Türkiye calls the Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization (FETO), reportedly fled to Germany shortly after the assassination. However, the Daily Sabah claims that he was recently spotted in Dallas, Texas, where he allegedly lives in an “extremely luxurious villa” worth around $1.2 million.
It is also claimed that Alsancak has registered a number of “front companies” in the names of his wife and daughter, which he has used to help fellow fugitives obtain visas and work permits in the US.
Russian diplomat Karlov was murdered on December 19, 2016, as he was delivering a speech at the opening of a Russia-themed exhibition in the Turkish capital. Ankara’s criminal investigation into the ambassador’s murder found that it had been organized by FETO – a network of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkish authorities accuse of attempting to violently overthrow the government in 2013 and 2016.
Investigators identified several FETO members allegedly involved in the attack, including Alsancak, who is believed to have instructed Mevlut Mert Altintas, an off-duty police officer, to kill Karlov during the exhibition. It’s believed that the incident was meant to provoke a conflict between Russia and Türkiye and destabilize improving relations between Moscow and Ankara.
Twenty-three people have been sentenced for being involved in the high-profile assassination, with five Turkish nationals receiving life in prison. The 22-year-old gunman was killed by police in a shootout shortly after the murder.
Most of the high-ranking figures in FETO are believed to have fled Türkiye shortly after the failed coup attempt in 2016. Since then, Ankara has repeatedly demanded that they be extradited home to face trial for terrorist activity.