POLITICS > Puzzling Greek connection revealed in embassy attack

ISTANBUL - Daily News with wires

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Police scour the scene in the wake of DHKP/C member Ecevit Şanlı's suicide attack on the US Embassy in Ankara. AA Photo

Police scour the scene in the wake of DHKP/C member Ecevit Şanlı's suicide attack on the US Embassy in Ankara. AA Photo

Police investigations have revealed crucial details about the man responsible for the Feb. 1 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, including his illegal entrance into the country from Greece.

The attacker, identified by state officials as former Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) member Ecevit Şanlı, reportedly entered the country illegally through the Greek islands. Şanlı, 30, lived in Germany after entering the country in 2002 with a fake passport, and then applied for asylum in the country. He was initially rejected, but the decision was overturned after he appealed the decision.

The DHKP/C claimed responsibility for the attack a day after Şanlı detonated heavy explosives by the personnel entrance of the U.S. embassy, citing American policies in Syria, Egypt and Libya, according to Turkey’s state television. He was buried on the same day in his hometown Ordu, with a group of 50 people accompanying his family.

Şanlı had previously served time in prison between 1997 and 2000 for attacking an Istanbul military guest house, Harbiye Orduevi, with a flame thrower. He also participated in hunger strikes while being held in the Ümraniye Prison in 2000, a time when massive hunger strikes were initiated in Turkish prisons. Şanlı, who suffered from Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome, was released on probation in 2002.

His family had not made contact with him over 15 years, his father told daily Hürriyet, after he left his hometown of Ordu for Istanbul.

Turkish authorities immediately contacted German counterparts to try and map out Şanlı’s movements, working on possible connections to him in the country and abroad. His illegal entrance through the Greek islands, alongside those who may have helped him, is also currently being investigated.

A false identity card found on Şanlı was later identified as a 40-year-old Turkish citizen, who had handed his ID over to a group of people claiming to be organizing a football tournament in Istanbul.

Several other IDs were collected for the supposed tournament, which the organization reportedly used to make fake identification cards for members, daily Akşam reported.

Şanlı entered the embassy using the fake ID, claiming to be applying for U.S. visa before detonating six kilos of TNT on the site. The attack killed security guard Mustafa Akarsu and critically injured a former reporter, Didem Tucay.

The DHKP/C is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union, and has also been in the news lately over the government raids that detained and arrested many suspects, including lawyers, over alleged links to the organization.

US envoy thanks Turkish government, announces planned moment of silence

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara and consulates around Turkey will observe a minute of silence tomorrow to honor Mustafa Akarsu, a security guard who died Feb. 1 defending the U.S. mission in the Turkish capital from a suicide bomber.

“In honor of our fallen colleague, Mustafa Akarsu, I have directed that flags at the U.S. Embassy and our consulates in Turkey will fly at half staff until sunset on Wednesday Feb. 6. On Monday at 13:13, we will observe a moment of silence in Mustafa Bey’s memory, precisely 72 hours after the moment of his sacrifice,” Ricciardone said in a statement published on the U.S. embassy’s website.    

Ricciardone also thanked the “outpouring sympathy” and support shown by the Turkish government, emphasizing the friendship between the two countries.

“The U.S. and Turkey have suffered from terrorism both separately and together. Such incidents only reinforce our shared will to defeat terrorists and to strengthen the rule of law which they aim to undermine. We will never yield to terror, and together we will prevail,” the statement read.


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Notice on comments

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

2/4/2013 5:41:39 PM

Greek commentators friends, please do not feel to be obliged to defend your beloved Greece's weaknesses or wrongdoings. If we all do the right thing ignoring the urge of defending national and/or religious pride, we can make a better region to live.

Stratos T.

2/4/2013 4:23:08 PM

Missleading title, provoking and aiming at creating a falsified atmosphere draging Greece into this mess just because a Turkish citizen allegedly crossed the country like thousands of illegal immigrants do. Whats more striking is that the readers are ready to blame Greece for this istead of looking into what may have caused it in the first place and instead of blaming Germany (or even Belgium and Holland) for giving refuge to a wanted man, the article points a finger at Greece!


2/4/2013 3:27:56 PM

I agree, what is so puzzling here is not the fact that a terrorists can freely coross into Turkey from Greece, which after all has at some point was and maybe still is home to terrorist camps, but Germany gave asylum to a known terrorist.

kerem atan

2/4/2013 3:26:53 PM

greek readers shouldnt blame the title because theres more grave claims about greece in connection with dhkp-c. its stated greece is the headquarter of dhkp-c and they have camps in greece according to the other sources. along with other european countries greece also helps out pkk and dhkp-c overtly or covertly by giving an asylum to them or overlooking their terrorist activities.this is nothing new for us.

constantinos kio

2/4/2013 3:03:59 PM

seams that turkish body traders lost some of their job after the Evros wall . are you kiding ? where you saw greek involve?stop watching movies

Nageyec Conduz

2/4/2013 1:39:00 PM

Why did the mentioning of the saintly Greek name created such a panic among the readers? may be don't like the revelations of the Greek's dirty works.

Nageyec Conduz

2/4/2013 1:32:06 PM

Yes, the man came from Germany. No doubt about that. Consequently, the investigators are diligently mapping out his movements while he was there. However, the TRUTH is that his last leg before he entered Turkey, was the Greek island mentioned on the article. Without jumping into any conclusion, let as wait an see what the investigations reveal.

Blue Dotterel

2/4/2013 10:28:13 AM

“The U.S. and Turkey have suffered from terrorism both separately and together." Turkey and the US have also sponsored terrorism in other countries separately and together. You cannot defeat terrorism by supporting it and ignoring the rule of law.

Aleka Akar

2/4/2013 9:34:51 AM

Migrants go to Turkey illegaly everyday from Greece same way migrants enter illegaly Greece from Turkey every day via Aegean or Thrace. I don't see how this connects this person with Greece even if terroristic organisations all over the world are always connected with each other.Why you don't accuse Germany too since he was there as you say? No , Greece has no money to train Kurds in camps in Greece as I know it's said in Turkey. Trust me on this. Greece belongs to U.S. And US wants PKK to exist

Peter Panayiotou

2/4/2013 6:16:34 AM

Shame on the Daily News for stooping so low with the innuendo in this article. What Greek connection are you referring to? the man travelled presumably from Germany to Turkey and in the process passed thru Greece. Does that mean it is really the Greeks who bombed the US embassy? What are you implying? why dont you accuse all the other countries he passed thru of also seeking to bomb the US embassy...how ridiculous can your reporting get? The man is a Turk with a grievance!
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