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Turkish prosecutor taken hostage in Istanbul

Март 31, 2015    
Turkish prosecutor taken hostage in Istanbul
Turkish security forces outside court building in Istanbul (31 March)
 
Armed men have taken hostage the Turkish prosecutor heading the inquiry into the death of a boy during anti-government protests in 2013. This is reported by Coruption.Info.
 
Dramatic images have emerged on social media of a gun being held to the head of Mehmet Selim Kiraz at a court house in Istanbul.
 
A banned Marxist revolutionary group is said to be behind the incident.
 
A statement posted online said the prosecutor would be killed if their demands were not met.
 
Turkish special forces entered the court house, which was evacuated, and gunshots were heard from inside the building, Turkish news agencies reported.
 
City police chief Selami Altinok told reporters that negotiations with the hostage takers were under way.
 
"We are trying to resolve the issue without anyone being hurt," he said.
 
The Turkish government has banned live TV coverage of the incident, citing security concerns.

 Turkish security forces enter court building in Istanbul (31 March)

Berkin Elvan, who was then 14, was struck in the head by a police tear gas canister in June 2013 as he went to buy bread during mass demonstrations that began in Istanbul and spread across Turkey.
 
After nine months in a coma he eventually died in an Istanbul hospital.
 
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, now Turkey's president, inflamed passions shortly after the teenager's death when he said the boy had been carrying a slingshot and had been "taken up into terrorist organisations".
 

 Anti-government protesters shout slogans during a demonstration marking the funeral of Berkin Elvan

Clashes in Istanbul (11 March)

Suspected members of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) took the prosecutor hostage on the sixth floor of the Caglayan court house, reports said.
 
A website close to the group has published a series of demands, including calls for an immediate confession from police officers responsible for the boy's death, and for an end to prosecutions of protesters charged over the clashes.
 
Berkin Elvan's father appealed for the prosecutor to be freed: "My son is dead but let no-one else die."
 
"You can't wash blood with blood," he told BBC Turkish.
Turkey's prime minister met the interior minister to try to defuse this latest crisis, the BBC's Mark Lowen in Istanbul reports.
 
The DHKP-C is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and US. It said it carried out a suicide bombing in February 2013 at the US embassy in Ankara, where a security guard was killed.
 
In January, a man linked to the banned Marxist group was arrested near the prime minister's offices in Istanbul, reportedly after throwing two grenades that failed to explode.

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