Armed assailant detained near Turkish PM’s office in Istanbul

Armed assailant detained near Turkish PM’s office in Istanbul

Armed assailant detained near Turkish PM’s office in Istanbul An armed man has been detained in front of the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, which also houses a prime ministerial office, after throwing a bomb that failed to explode at police officers, Turkish media reported Jan. 1.

Police officers in their ceremonial costumes were on duty for “the watch of respect” in honor of Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who died in the palace in 1938, when they noticed the suspect.

The man threw a hand grenade at the sentry post, but the bomb did not explode. Officers quickly intervened and handcuffed the assailant.

An automatic weapon and a homemade bomb were found on the suspect.

All security forces in the area were mobilized seconds after the incident. Police blockaded the area and began an investigation, while the suspect was taken to a police station.

The main road in front of the palace has been closed to traffic and a bomb disposal team has been dispatched to the area.

Police head avoids identifying assailant

Istanbul Police Department head Selami Altıok said two grenades were seized from the assailant by police before being defused.

Altıok also avoided giving further information even though police had determined the assailant's identity.

"We know his identity and the links he has, but we don't want to share it now. He served time in prison before,” he said.

Turkish television channels identified the armed attacker as F.Ö., who served jail term for being a member of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C). Meanwhile, an unknown Twitter account named as “İSİMSİZ 111‏@Fedakar_kisi” (unnamed 111 @sacrificed person) wrote in a Dec. 12, 2014, tweet that DHKP/C had planned an attack and would use F.Ö. in the operation.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu hosted Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani in his office in the palace last month.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Davutoğlu’s predecessor as prime minister, regularly used the office at Dolmabahçe Palace during his term.