Horror but scant surprise at links to club shooter

ISTANBUL: In a working-class Istanbul neighbourhood that Central Asian migrants have called home for decades, there is horror but scant surprise that a gunman who killed 39 people in a nightclub on New Year’s Day may have spent time in their community.
Just beyond the ancient walls on Istanbul’s historic peninsula, Zeytinburnu could not be farther removed from the upscale Ortakoy district on the shores of the Bosphorus where the gunman opened fire with an automatic rifle last Sunday. Its bustling streets are full of Kazakh and Uzbek shops and restaurants, their signboards written in Uighur Arabic script. Old men wearing fur-lined caps greet each other as women, some covered from head to toe, browse in shop windows.
The gunman, whom Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak has said is thought to be an ethnic Uighur, is believed to have travelled by taxi from Zeytinburnu before the shooting and to have returned to a restaurant there afterwards, asking to borrow money to pay the driver. He is still at large.
The restaurant remains open, but several of its employees have been detained.
Many Turks feel strong ethnic and cultural ties with the Turkic speaking peoples of Central Asia, including western China and the nearby states of the ex-Soviet Union, and have welcomed migrants who live alongside them in areas like Zeytinburnu.
— Reuters

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