Arrested DHKP-C militants plotted to assassinate Erdoğan in Athens: Greek media
Nine Turkish citizens arrested in Athens on Dec. 4 were plotting to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan using rockets during his historic visit to Greece, the Greek media has reported, citing security officials.
The suspects, who were arrested by a Greek court over terror-related charges, have been linked to the outlawed far-leftist Turkish Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).
The group had planned to launch rockets at both sides of Erdoğan’s convoy as he traveled through Athens on Dec. 7, Greece’s weekly To Vima reported on Dec. 17.
Another group would have supported the planned assault on the official car by pursuing the attack from behind the vehicles, according to captured plans in which Erdoğan is codenamed “the scorpion.”
The conclusion was based on evidence found by the Greek police (ELAS) during raids of three cells in which the nine DHKP-C suspects resided before they were detained on Nov. 28.
A diagram sketched in a notebook demonstrating the planned assault showed the law enforcement officials how the assassination would have taken place, had the suspects not been arrested, the report said.
Although the plot, which included rockets, handmade grenades and Molotov cocktails, was eventually foiled, Greek officials continue to search for weaponry and ammunition they believe to be buried in large plastic barrels by the Parnitha Mountain near Athens, according to local media.
Greece’s anti-terrorism units had raided apartments in central Athens on Nov. 28, detaining nine people for questioning over suspected DHKP-C links, police said, only days before Erdoğan’s planned visit to the Greek capital.
On Nov. 29, all nine detainees – one woman and eight men – were charged in Greece over terrorism-related offences, accused of hoarding explosives and DHKP-C links.
A Greek court on Dec. 4 ordered the arrest of the nine Turkish citizens.
At the time Greek officials denied any links between the arrests and Erdoğan’s planned state visit to Greece on Dec. 7-8, the first a Turkish head of state has made in 65 years.
One of the detainees, Hasan Biber, had been wanted by Greek police in connection with an arms and explosives haul off the Greek island of Chios, close to the Turkish coast, in 2013.
In 2013, DHKP-C member Biber and another suspect allegedly attacked the Turkish Interior Ministry and the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) headquarters in Ankara.
DHKP-C is a far-leftist group blamed for a string of attacks and suicide bombings in Turkey since 1990.