Istanbul police continue anti-terror raids
ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
DHA PhotoA dozen suspected militants have been remanded in custody following anti-terror raids across Istanbul on the morning of Aug. 4, police said.
Of the 23 suspects arrested in the raids, police earlier identified three as being linked to the far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).
Later, 10 were identified as suspected members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) while eight are accused of being Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) extremists. The remaining two are said to belong to the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP).
The raids on 13 addresses in Istanbul’s Sultangazi, Gaziosmanpaşa and Bağcılar districts were backed by helicopters and saw firearms, fireworks, petrol bombs and documents seized, police said.
Aside from the 12 detained by an Istanbul court, four were released, two sent to be deported and the other five are still being processed.
One suspect has been detained in an operation against the far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) in Istanbul’s Okmeydanı neighborhood, while 12 out of 23 suspects who had been detained in vast anti-terror operations since July 27 have been arrested.
Anti-terror police raided two addresses in Okmeydanı early Aug. 5 and detained one suspect in an operation against the DHKP-C.
Meanwhile, 12 suspects were arrested by Istanbul courts as part of the anti-terror operation.
Police said all the suspects had been preparing to carry out an unspecified mission when they were arrested. Further arrests are expected, according to police.
All four groups are designated terrorist organizations in Turkey.
ISIL is thought to be responsible for a suicide bomb attack on pro-Kurdish activists in the southeastern town of Suruç last month that killed 32 people.
The other three are all left-wing groups, with the PKK being the most prominent among them. It has fought a bloody insurgency against Turkey since 1984 and, alongside ISIL, has been the target of recent airstrikes by the Turkish air force.
The DHKP-C, like the PKK, is considered a terror group by the European Union and the United States, and was most active during the Cold War era. This year it claimed responsibility for an attempted grenade attack on police guarding Istanbul’s Dolmabahçe Palace and its members were involved in a hostage incident that ended in the death of a prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz following a shootout with police in March.
The MLKP has strong ties to the PKK and has sent a number of members to fight alongside Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq against jihadists.