Police shoot female assailant in Istanbul

Turkish police fired shots at two people carrying weapons outside Istanbul’s police headquarters yesterday.

One of them, a women was killed and the other person was detained. A police officer was also wounded, the Governor of Istanbul said.

The woman was carrying a rifle, a handgun and two hand grenades. Police safely detonated explosives seized from the woman.

This incident occurred the day after a Turkish prosecutor was held hostage in his Istanbul office for six hours. He died in hospital from gunshot wounds. Both his assailants were shot by police during a rescue attempt.

The hostage takers said they were members of the extreme leftist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) and were demanding a public confession by the policeman who had fired the canister at Berkin Elvan during the Gezi Park protests.

Prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz was the fifth prosecutor to be handling the Berkin Elvan case. As the protests spread across the country, seven people lost their lives in 2013/14. The youngest of whom was 15 year old Berkin Elvan, who remained in a coma for almost nine months having been struck on the head by a police tear gas canister, died in March 2014. Berkin was not involved in the protests and had only incidentally been caught up in the confusion as he left his home to buy bread.

Prosecutor Kiraz who had only taken on the Berkin Elvan case last September, had said in an interview with Turkish daily ‘Zaman’ that there had been a welter of film footage and documentation to work through but that he had identified of most the riot police present at the incident. However, he said that he wanted to be fair to all sides.

The public have been concerned that these events had been shuffled to one side and that police officers would be treated too leniently.


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