ISTANBUL – Turkish forces arrested 32 people on Wednesday suspected of belonging to the ultra-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP-C, which claimed responsibility for taking a hostage on Tuesday in Istanbul.
The hostage, Turkish prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz, who headed an inquiry into the controversial death of a young boy during the anti-government protests in 2013, died after sustaining injuries in the operation to free him, during which two of the assailants were killed.
Terror police units raided on Wednesday morning the homes of 23 people suspected of being members of the outlawed Marxist DHKP-C party in the southern city of Antalya, arresting 22 of them, the online Radikal newspaper reported.
Most of the apprehended are students at Akdeniz University in the same seaside town, added the newspaper.
Security sources noted that the operation was launched after receiving notice from the secret service that the suspects could be planning further attacks.
The detainees’ lawyer, Hakan Evcin, told Radikal that his clients did not plan anything in Antalya, but only planned to issue a press release on Wednesday afternoon.
Shortly after, the police forces arrested five suspects in the city of Eskisehir, in western Anatolia, and another five in the city of Izmir, on the Aegean coast.
A photo released on Tuesday on social media outlets depicted a gun pointed at the head of Turkish prosecutor with the flag of the DHKP-C party hung in the background.
The DHKP-C, which was founded in 1978 under the name of Dev-Sol, or the Revolutionary Left, has claimed in recent years several attempted attacks, including suicide missions, against police stations and police officers.
The police also raided on Wednesday Istanbul University, arresting 36 students who were preparing a protest, according to Evrensel newspaper.
In another security operation, police forces also arrested 40 people for holding an unauthorized demonstration before the Judicial Institute of Medicine of Istanbul, which houses the bodies of the two kidnappers.