Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak on Thursday said the government believes that the gunman who attacked an Istanbul nightclub killing 39 on New Year’s Day is likely to still be in the country and that he could be a Uighur.
Kynak also said that the attack was carried out by one person but he probably had help and possibly from inside the club.
TRT World's Ali Mustafa reports from Istanbul.
Turkish police on Thursday took several more suspects into custody from Istanbul’s western outskirts in connection with the shooting as the manhunt for the prime suspect entered a fifth day.
The Istanbul Police Department's Anti-Terror Branch conducted an operation at a housing community in Silivri district after it received information individuals who might be linked to the attack were hiding in the area.
“Aid and abet" charges were levied against suspects originally from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwestern China, according to sources who wished not to be named.
The authorities had by Wednesday taken 34 suspects into custody.
Turkey on Wednesday announced it has identified the gunman who stormed into the packed Reina nightclub in the early hours of Sunday, killing 39 people and injuring 69 as he shot into the crowd.
In his first public remarks following the attack, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said the country will overcome the recent spate of attacks, and that Daesh would not divide Turkey.
As the hunt for the killer continues, survivors of the attack are beginning to tell their stories.
Tuvana Tugsavul works at the Reina nightclub as a public relations representative and photographer.
She was there when the gunman shot his way into the facility as revellers celebrated the New Year.
TRT World ’s Andrew Hopkins has more from Istanbul.