Atalay Filiz, on trial for a series of murders in Turkey, said in his defense that one of his victims was a Gülen movement sympathizer and that he would be under arrest if he were alive.

Filiz told the court on Thursday that the father of Göktuğ Demiraslan, one of his victims, was a general in the Turkish military who had been detained over links to the Gülen movement after a failed coup on July 15.

“The apple does not fall far from the tree. If his father is a traitor, why not his son?” said Filiz, who claimed that he knew his victim Göktuğ Demirarslan was a follower of “FETÖ,” a pejorative acronym that the government has used to designate the Gülen movement as a terrorist organization, especially since the failed coup of July 15.

According to Filiz, who confessed to three murders and was on Turkey’s agenda when he was on the run, his victim would be under arrest over Gülen links if he were alive now.

“Our people demand capital punishment for the traitors. In a way, I carried out the people’s will,” he said to an Ankara court in an online connection from Silivri Prison.

He also claimed that he was not on the run but was running from the KGB and “FETÖ.”

Filiz was convicted in the hearing on Thursday on three counts of murdering Göktuğ Demirarslan and his Russian girlfriend, Elena Radchikova in 2013 and a history teacher named Fatma Kayıkçı in May 2016. Filiz was handed down an aggravated life sentence.

Göktuğ Demirarslan was the son of Gen. Hüseyin Demirarslan and worked at the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK).

(Turkish Minute)