ANKARA - An Islamist gunman, who has confessed to the killing of 39 people at an Istanbul nightclub on New Year's Day, told a court that he had aimed to kill Christians during his attack, Hurriyet newspaper said on Monday, citing testimony given this weekend.
Abdulgadir Masharipov initially planned to attack the area around Taksim Square but switched to the upscale Reina nightclub due to the heightened security measures around the square, Hurriyet said, without saying how it had obtained the document.
Reuters was not given access to the confidential document.
"I did not take part in any acts before the Reina event. I thought of carrying out an act against Christians on their holiday, to take revenge for their killing acts across the world. My goal was to kill Christians," he was quoted as saying.
"If I had decided to do so, I would have used a gun and killed the people there (Taksim). There was no entrance to Taksim, it was swarming with police. I changed my mind after that," Huuriyet quoted him as saying in the court document.
Turkey is a majority Muslim nation. Turks, as well as visitors from several Arab nations, India and Canada, were among those killed in the attack. Victims included a Bollywood film producer, a Turkish waiter, a Lebanese fitness trainer and a Jordanian bar owner.