Erdogan says Istanbul courthouse attack is a serious incident

Erdogan says prosecutor’s murder after terrorist attack on Istanbul courthouse not minor issue

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the hostage situation that resulted in death of the prosecutor and two attackers at Istanbul courthouse on Monday was not a minor issue.

Gunmen from the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP-C), an outlawed armed ultra leftist group recognized by Turkey, the US and the EU as a terrorist organization, stormed a courthouse near the central İstanbul district of Mecidiyekoy, disguised as lawyers wearing robes.

Prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz was seriously injured and later died at a hospital, according to the officials.

Giving his condolences to the prosecutor's family and the country, Erdogan said the incident would be investigated thoroughly.

"This is an incident that we can learn from and that needs to be taken seriously,” said Erdogan.

Kiraz, 46-year-old prosecutor, had been investigating the case of Berkin Elvan, the 14-year-old boy who was critically injured during 2013's Gezi Park protests and died in March 2014 after falling into a coma for 269 days.

DHKP-C had listed a number of demands after taking the prosecutor as hostage, including a confession from police officers who allegedly killed Berkin Elvan after being hit in the head with a gas canister fired by the police.

They also demand that the police officers responsible for his death be prosecuted in their self-proclaimed court and the lifting of charges against those who participated in the riots within three hours.

While the negotiations were going on, police heard gunfires from the prosecutor's room and raided in. They found out that the attackers shot and injured him seriously. The attackers were also killed in the gunfire.

The DHKP-C entered the US’ and EU’s terror lists after conducting terror attacks on foreign consoles and embassies in Turkey.

The group took responsibility for the suicide bombing which targeted the US embassy in Ankara Feb 1., 2013 which killed one guard and injured multiple American staff members.

Kiraz’s funeral ceremony will be held at Eyup Sultan Mosque and his body will be buried in its cemetery in the afternoon of Wednesday with the attendance of Turkey’s top officials, including the Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and the Parliament speaker Cemil Cicek.

The President Erdogan will not be attending the funeral since he has been on three EU countries visit, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Romania.

TRTWorld and agencies