DHKP-C claims Istanbul palace attack bid
ISTANBUL – Agence France-Presse
AA PhotoAn outlawed Turkish Marxist group on Jan. 2 said it was behind an attempted attack on an Ottoman-era Istanbul palace that formerly held the offices of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) said one of its members carried out the attempted attack on Jan. 1 afternoon outside the historic Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul on the Bosphorus.
The man, identified as F.Ö., hurled two grenades at the police honor guard on duty outside the palace but they failed to explode.
He was arrested on Jan. 10 after being interrogated by public prosecutor.
The DHKP-C said in a statement on its website that the "armed action had been realized by one of our warriors."
The Dolmabahçe Palace - one of the last great palaces of the Ottoman Empire and also where the founder of modern Turkey Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, died in 1938 - is one of Istanbul's major tourist attractions.
Part of the palace is open to the public but another wing hosts reception rooms and offices of the Turkish prime minister, a post Erdoğan held from 2003-2014 before becoming president.
The DHKP-C said it had been targeted as a reprisal for the death of Berkin Elvan, a teenage protester who died in March 2014 after spending 269 days in a coma due to injuries inflicted by the police in the mass anti-government protests of May-June 2013.
"The Justice and Development Party [AKP] are the killers" of Elvan, it said, referring to the ruling party. "Then prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered the massacre," it added.
F.Ö. reportedly shouted slogans in support of the DHKP-C after being arrested by police.
Besides the grenades the suspect was armed with a "very old" machine gun and a pistol, police said.
Ahmet Davutoğlu, who succeeded Erdoğan as prime minister, was not believed to be in the building at the time.
The DHKP-C -- a radical Marxist organization considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and the United States -- has over the last years carried out a string of sporadic and sometimes deadly attacks in Turkey and abroad.
It claimed a suicide bombing in February 2013 at the U.S. embassy in Ankara where a security guard was killed.