THE gunman in the Istanbul nightclub massacre has been identified, according to Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, although officials have refused to offer any further details.
Cavusoglu made the comments as the president addressed the nation, promising that the country will not become divided.
The gunman – who killed 39 people during New Year’s celebrations at the Reina club – is still at large. Reports state that 27 of those killed were foreign, while around 70 more revellers were injured during the attack.
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“The identity of the person who carried out the attack on the Reina nightclub has been established,” Cavusoglu said, after police detained five suspected Daesh militants linked to the attack.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan added: “To say that Turkey has surrendered to terrorism is to take sides with the terrorists.”
At least 14 people were previously detained in connection with the attack, including two foreigners stopped on Tuesday at the international terminal of Istanbul's Ataturk Airport after police checked their mobile phones and luggage.
Local media reports claimed on Tuesday that the gunman's wife was in custody and had told police she did not know her husband was linked to Daesh.
An eerie selfie video emerged of the alleged gunman on Tuesday, showing him silently touring Istanbul's most famous square. The camera never leaves the man's unsmiling face as he walks through Taksim Square during the 44-second clip that was broadcast on state-run Anadolu television and other Turkish media.