ISTANBUL: The father of the Turkish-born man suspected of killing three people in an attack Monday in the Dutch city of Utrecht said his son should be punished if found responsible, a Turkish news agency reported.

"If he did it, he must be punished," the DHA agency quoted Mehmet Tanis, father of 37-year-old suspect Gokmen Tanis, as saying after what Dutch officials said was likely a terror-related attack.

Gokman Tanis 01 Utrecht shooter
This image made available on Monday March 18, 2019 from the Twitter page of Police Utrecht shows an image of 37 year old Gokman Tanis, who police are looking for in connection with a shooting incident on a tram. Police, including heavily armed officers, flooded the area after the shooting Monday morning on a tram at a busy traffic intersection in a residential neighborhood. Image Credit: AP

Dutch police said they had made an arrest after issuing a picture of Gokmen, whose family originally hails from Yozgat in central Turkey, media reports said.

Father 'lost contact' with son

His father revealed he had lost contact with his son having returned to his homeland in 2008 after divorcing his wife, DHA reported.

She remained in the Netherlands with Gokmen.

Mehmet Tanis said he had since remarried and now lives in the central province of Kayseri.

"I have had no dialogue, no contact with my son for 11 years. We have not spoken to one another since 2008," he told DHA.

"He did not have an aggressive attitude — but 11 years have gone by. What happened, what has he experienced? I know nothing whatsoever," Mehmet Tanis said.


Late on Monday, Dutch police arrested Gokmen, following a shooting spree that killed three people and wounded nine others in a suspected terror attack on a tram in Utrecht.

The suspect, identified as Turkey-born Gokmen Tanis, 37, was reportedly involved in a shooting on a tram in Utrecht in which three people were killed, a police chief said.

"We have just been informed that the suspect has been arrested," Utrecht police chief Rob van Bree told a news conference.

Police had earlier said they were searching for Turkish-born suspect Gokmen Tanis, 37, and issued a picture of him.