Turkish media has reported that Sanliurfa metropolitan mayor, Nihat Ciftci has been attacked by unidentified armed assailants in Turkey’s southeastern region, following a visit to the Siverek district of the province on Sept. 28.
The convoy of the mayor was caught in the crossfire near the Siverek State Hospital. The attackers reportedly used rifles and escaped from the scene, no injuries or deaths have been reported.
Ciftci has been elected to the office of the municipality by majority of city councilors on Sept. 6, after Ciftci’s predecessor Celalettin Guvenc resigned from his position in order to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections, as a candidate from the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) for the province of Kahramanmaras.
Ciftci’s convoy was driving from Siverek to Hilvan, another district of the Sanliurfa province which is 35-km from the scene of the incident. Ciftci was immediately transferred to another car following the blowout of his car’s tires as a result of the armed attack.
Media reports have stated that the security forces have been conducting extensive operations in the areas near the scene of the attack in order to capture the assailants.
Turkey has recently been targeted with increasing terror attacks by ISIS and PKK terrorist groups in its southeastern and eastern regions since a suicide bombing, widely thought to have been carried out by ISIS, in Suruc district of the Sanliurfa province claimed 34 lives on July 20.
The outlawed PKK has particularly increased its attacks on both police and the Turkish Armed Forces following the Suruc suicide bombing. More than 120 Turkish security officials have been killed in militant attacks by the PKK and ISIS since the bombing.
Both PKK and ISIS are recognised as terrorist organisations by Turkey, the US, EU, and NATO.