Turkish prosecutor taken hostage in Istanbul by armed group
March 31, Istanbul: Armed group has taken hostage to a Turkish prosecutor probing the politically sensitive death of an anti-government protester at an Istanbul courthouse, Turkish media reported.
Mehmet Selim Kiraz was investigating the killing of Berkin Elvan, who died in March last year after spending 269 days in a coma due to injuries inflicted by police in the mass protests of early summer 2013.
Turkish news channel NTV showed photos on its website of an armed man holding a gun to the prosecutors head while his hands were tied.
Armed men belonging to the leftist group Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP/C) threatened to kill Kiraz if the officer who shot Berkin was not arrested, setting a deadline for 15:35 local time for their demands to be met, local media reported. Gunfire was heard at the courthouse, the Dogan news agency reported.
The hostage takers released a list of demands for the release of the prosecutor, saying that the officer who shot Berkin Elvan must appear on TV and confess his guilt.
The police officer must also be tried in a people’s court, not in the state courts, the list read. Another demand was that the rights of those who attended rallies in solidarity with the Elvan family must be reinstated.
The group also demanded a safe exist of the armed men behind the hostage taking, and the formation of a negotiation team involving prominent figures for talks with the DHKP/C.
Special forces were dispatched to the courthouse to counter the hostage situation.
The Oslo Times