World Bulletin / News Desk
İstanbul police on Monday arrested Murat Nazaryan, a Turkish citizen of Armenian origin suspected of attacking four elderly Armenian women in İstanbul's Samatya neighborhood in recent months, killing two of his victims.
The first attack was on Nov. 1 of last year. A woman named Gönül A. was beaten by an intruder and her valuables stolen. On Nov. 28, Tuivat A. (87) was attacked inside her house. She lost one eye in the attack and was robbed as well. On Dec. 28, Maritsa Küçük (85) was brutally murdered in her house, where she lived alone. In the fourth attack, Sultan Aykar (80) was stabbed as she was entering her house.
The 38-year-old suspect said in his statement to police that he attacked the women for the purpose of theft. He chose lonely elderly women on which to carry out his assault, he said. The evidence that led police to Nazaryan was an envelope found in the purse of Küçük, on which blood stains of the suspect were found. A police operation ran for months to find Nazaryan. He reportedly first denied the charges but later admitted to the assaults after learning of the blood tests. He was due to be referred to a court after police interrogation on Monday.
Nazaryan had a police record for similar crimes. He was apprehended at a hostel in Fatih's Vefa neighborhood.
The incidents involving the women brought up questions over whether racism was a motive behind the attacks. Aykar and her family rejected claims that the attack against her might have been ethnically charged.