Gunmen Die In Six-hour Turkey Shootout, Prosecutor Succumbs To Injuries
A Turkish prosecutor and his two kidnappers were killed in an encounter that lasted six hours in a courthouse in Istanbul.
Mehmet Selim Kiraz was heading the case of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan, because of which he had been taken hostage.
Elvan was killed on June 2013 during the anti-government Gezi Park protests, where he was hit on the head with a tear gas canister.
The left-wing Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front took responsibility for the attack through an online post they sent to Turkish media. The post revealed the suspects had taken action to seek revenge for Elvan’s death and threatened to kill the prosecutor if demands were not met.
On Tuesday, members of the group masqueraded as lawyers barged in the courthouse, taking Kiraz hostage and threatening authorities to fulfill their demands within the next three hours.
Sukriye Erden, a lawyer who was negotiating with the accused, told BBC that they forced the police to announce names of security service personnel responsible for the death of Elvan.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the gunmen were terrorists.
“This is not to be taken lightly,” he said, according to CNN.
“Our security forces launched the operation after gunshots were heard from the prosecutor’s room while the militants were speaking on the phone with authorities during the negotiations.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted, “May Mehmet Selim Kiraz rest in peace. I condemn the terrorists and those who legitimize them.”
The accused, identified as Safak Yayla Zonguldak and Bahtiyar Dogruyol, born in 1991 and 1987, respectively, were killed during the standoff. Mr. Kiraz was heavily wounded and later succumbed to his injuries.
You might also be interested in: Turkey Imposes a Ban Against YouTube over ‘National Security’ Concerns