Turkish police have identified the alleged New Year's Eve nightclub attacker in Istanbul as a citizen of Uzbekistan named Abdulkadir Masharipov.

Media reports quoted Istanbul police during the weekend as saying that Masharipov, known by the nickname "Abu Muhammed Horasani," had links with the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Syria and Iraq.

Masharipov's current whereabouts remains unknown as Turkish security forces and police continue to search for him and possible accomplices.

Masharipov, who was living in Turkey since 2011, is suspected to be the gunman who burst into Istanbul's waterfront Reina nightclub with an automatic weapon and began shooting partygoers early on January 1.

Thirty-nine people were killed.

IS has claimed responsibility for the attack.