(Istanbul) A civilian was killed and five people were injured, including three police officers, in an attempted attack on the Istanbul courthouse on Tuesday, during which the two attackers were killed, the Turkish president announced Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Interior Ministry previously reported the deaths of two attackers in a “terrorist” attack by a radical Marxist-Leninist organization, adding that three police officers guarding the palace and three civilians were injured.
The attack targeted the police station at the entrance to the courthouse.
The injured, one of whom died from his injuries, were hospitalized.
“I commend our security forces who eliminated this treacherous attack through timely intervention. Two terrorists, a woman and a man, were neutralized,” declared the Head of State during a ceremony commemorating the earthquake of February 6, 2023 in Kahramanaras (south-east), near the epicenter.
“Turkey will continue to fight with determination against all terrorist organizations and their supporters, without any discrimination,” he promised.
According to Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya, the two attackers were “identified as members of the DHKP-C terrorist group.”
Described as “terrorist” by Ankara and its Western allies, the radical Marxist-Leninist organization DHKP-C has claimed responsibility for several attacks in the past in Turkey.
The minister did not specify what weapons were used in the attack, but a witness, met at the scene by AFP, claimed to have witnessed an exchange of fire.
“I saw two people, a man and a woman, shooting at the police. The man was shot first. Then the woman fired a few more shots,” said Mahir Yildiz, 25, referring to the “panic” that seized those present.
“I heard 20 to 25 gunshots. There was great panic and fear at that time. We didn’t know which direction to take,” he added.
The Minister of Justice announced the opening of an investigation for “terrorism”.
All entry and exit to the Caglayan Courthouse has been temporarily suspended.
The far-left armed group DHKP-C (“Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front”), founded almost 50 years ago, does not generally attack the Turkish armed forces, but rather targets the interests American “imperialists” and NATO.
It is notably on the official list of terrorist organizations of the European Union and the United States, which offered three million dollars in 2014 for the capture of its leaders.
A suicide bomber blew himself up in 2013 in front of the United States embassy in Ankara, killing a Turkish guard.
The group also carried out an attack on the Istanbul courthouse in 2015, killing the then prosecutor, Mehmet Selim Kiraz.
Several attacks attributed to or claimed by different armed groups have recently targeted Istanbul and Ankara.
A man was killed at the end of January in Istanbul during mass in an Italian Catholic church during an attack claimed by the jihadist group Islamic State.
And two police officers were injured in October during an attack claimed by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) against the headquarters of the Turkish Interior Ministry in Ankara.