Funeral Held for Slain Turkish Prosecutor

Police officers carry his coffin as some thousands of people attend the funeral ceremony for Turkish prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz inside the main courthouse where he died on Tuesday in Istanbul, Turkey, Wednesday, April 1, 2015. AP Photo
Police officers carry his coffin as some thousands of people attend the funeral ceremony for Turkish prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz inside the main courthouse where he died on Tuesday in Istanbul, Turkey, Wednesday, April 1, 2015. AP Photo

The funeral for a prominent prosecutor taken hostage by two members of a far leftist group was held in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Mehmet Selim Kiraz died in an Istanbul hospital as a result of the injuries he sustained from the hostage ordeal.  Two gunmen of the banned Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) who took Kiraz hostage were killed in a shootout with security forces after they stormed the building on Tuesday.

Kiraz had been investigating the case of a 15-year old teenager, Berkin Elvan, who died nine months after being hit on the head by a police tear gas canister during the Gezi Park anti-government protests two years ago.

DHKP-C stated the hostage-taking was an act of revenge for Elvan’s death.

The opposition in Turkey criticized the government of Ahmet Davutoglu over the death of Kiraz.

“We expect all details of this fatal and painful incident to be carefully investigated and its results to be shared with the public. We also want to say we are astonished at those who present as a ‘success’ the three dead bodies, including Prosecutor Selim Kiraz, that resulted from the operation,” the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said in a statement.

The funeral for Kiraz took place at Istanbul’s Eyup Sultan mosque, where hundreds of mourners were in attendance, including Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and former-President Abdullah Gul.

Speaking at the funeral, Turkish Justice Minster Kenan Ipek said the attack was not just directed at the prosecutor but also the nation itself.  “This attack was not only targeting our deceased colleague but also our nation,” he said.

At least 19 members of DHKP-C were detained on Wednesday though it was not immediately clear if this was connected to Tuesday’s hostage situation.

Meanwhile, only a day after the hostage-taking situation and just hours after the funeral for Kiraz, at least two assailants attacked the police headquarters in Istanbul.  The gunemen reportedly opened fire on police at the entrance of the building.

Vasip Sahin, Istanbul’s Governor, said a female assailant was carrying a bomb and was shot dead.  The newspaper Daily Sabah reported that three bombs were found on her body.

The other gunman involved in the assault was injured and taken into custody.

Reports say two policemen were injured injured during the attack.

Garret Pustay
World News-Politics Contributor

World News-Politics Contributor at The Atlas Times.


Avid follower of international news, with a particular interest on the Middle East. A frequent commuter between New York and the Middle East.


Twitter: @garretpustay


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