Police identify assailant in Taksim shooting as DHKP/C member
ISTANBUL – Doğan News AgencyAn attacker who opened fire on a police post in Taksim Square, one of Istanbul’s most popular spots, on Jan. 30 was identified by the police as Elif Sultan Kalsen, a member of the illegal far-left group, the Revolutionary People’s Liberation/Party Front (DHKP/C).
The attacker, described by a witness as a woman with blond hair standing around 160 centimeters tall, opened fire on police units with a Kalashnikov in Istanbul’s Taksim neighborhood on Jan. 30, but no casualties were reported.
The attacker fled after the attack, leaving her gun at the scene.
The woman was caught on security camera belonging to a nearby workplace in Tarlabaşı while she was escaping.
Istanbul’s anti-terror police identified the assailant as Kalsen, a member of DHKP/C. Fingerprints left on a taxi the attacker reportedly boarded after escaping and the taxi driver’s testimony facilitated the identification of the attacker, Doğan news agency reported Jan. 31. Turkish police are searching for Kalsen in connection with the incident.
This is not the first armed attack in which Kalsen’s name has been named as a suspect.
A female suicide bomber blew herself up on Jan. 6 at the Tourism Police Station in one of Istanbul’s most popular touristic spots, killing a policeman, Kenan Kumaş. Before the suicide bomber’s identity was revealed by authorities, the DHKP/C claimed the attack, saying the bomber was Kalsen. However, the family of the woman said the body at the morgue did not belong to their daughter.
Later on, Turkish media reported the assailant’s identity as Diana Ramazova, a Russian citizen from the Republic of Daghestan, who was “radicalized by the Wahhabi ideology.”
The DHKP/C traces its roots to communist movements active in Turkey in the 1970s. It has carried out several attacks on the security forces, most recently on Jan. 1 when a man threw a homemade bomb at police officers.
A series of arrests across Turkey and Europe over the last decade have significantly weakened the DHKP/C, but experts say it still poses a serious threat.
The United States, European Union and Turkey list the group as a terrorist organization.