Militant who attacked US Consulate in Istanbul was freed from jail last month
DHKP-C militant Hatice Aşık was apprehended by Turkish security forces after she was wounded in a clash with police following an armed attack on the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul Aug. 10.A far-leftist militant who participated in an armed attack on the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul on Aug. 10 was released from prison only 33 days ago, Turkish media has reported.
Hatice Aşık, a female militant of the outlawed far-leftist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), was detained after being wounded in a clash with police near the consulate building in Istanbul’s Sarıyer district.
Aşık had spent three years in jail but was released a month ago, on July 8, pending the verdict in a trial in which she was a suspect, according to judicial sources speaking to Anadolu Agency.
Citing police sources, the same agency reported that Aşık had been designated as a potential suicide bomber by the far-left group. Photos of Aşık had been distributed to security units throughout the country after it was claimed that she planned to commit a suicide attack on the Justice Ministry in September this year.
Aşık was being tried for her alleged involvement in a bomb attack on a police station in Istanbul’s Yenibosna district in 2012.
She was accused of attempted murder, wilfully aiding the DHKP-C, and “attempting to change the constitutional order.” She was one of six suspects being tried.
While the state-run Anadolu Agency reported that Aşık was 42 years old, private Doğan News Agency reported that she was 51.
Aşık’s codename in the outlawed organization was “Hülya,” Doğan News Agency also reported, adding that she has been suffering from a heart condition and previously worked as a nurse.
The DHKP-C, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, had previously sent a number of militants, particularly ones with health problems, on suicide attacks targeting Turkish security forces.
Second assailant on the run
According to eyewitness Engin Yüksek, a Sarıyer resident, the second assailant who escaped after the consulate attack was also female.
Yüksek said police demanded that the suspects, who were carrying bags, surrender, but one of them replied: “I will never surrender to you. We’ve come here to take revenge for Suruç.”
On July 20, a suicide bombing by an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) supporter in Suruç, a town in southeastern Turkey, killed 32 activists who had been planning to help rebuild the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane after it was devastated by clashes with ISIL.
The DHKP-C was behind the suicide bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara two years ago that claimed the life of a Turkish security guard.
It was also involved in the killing of a prosecutor, Mehmet Selim Kiraz, at a courthouse in Istanbul in March.
The U.S. Consulate in Istanbul has been closed to the public until further notice, according to a written statement posted on the consulate’s official Twitter account.
The consulate attack came after another attack on a police station in Istanbul on early Aug. 10, which killed one police officer and wounded at least 11 people, including four other police officers. The police officer, who was injured in the gunfight, died at hospital.
It has yet to be determined whether the two attacks are related.