Attacker’s family back in Libya without body
Libyan Samir Salem Ali Elmadhavri, 36, was hot dead at the historic Topkapı Palace last week during a gunfight that broke out after he wounded two people. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜRELThe family members of a Libyan assailant who was killed in a shootout Nov. 30 at Istanbul’s Topkapı Palace Museum returned home without the attacker’s body yesterday, according to reports.
The father and brother of Samir Salem Ali Elmadhavri, 36, arrived in Istanbul on Dec. 3 from Benghazi. Father Salim Ali El Elmadhavri and his son first visited the Libyan consulate in Beyoğlu to learn about the procedures to retrieve the assailant’s remains.
They were then taken to the Istanbul Police Department on Vatan Avenue by anti-terror police to give testimony.
But the assailant’s father and brother left for Libya yesterday at 7 a.m. with a Turkish Airlines (THY) plane without the body, which is being kept at the Forensics Institute, according to reports.
It was unclear why the men were unable to collect the remains.
Meanwhile, the Police Department also issued a statement Dec. 2, saying the sale of unbarrelled hunting rifles to foreign citizens who visit Turkey for tourist purposes would be banned.
Until a new arrangement is implemented, foreign tourists will no longer be able to buy such weapons in Turkey just by presenting a photocopy of their passports or their entry documents, according to the statement.
The new directives come in the wake of criticism that Elmadhavri was easily able to purchase guns in Istanbul before beginning his shooting spree.
A notice was also sent to all governors’ offices with instructions that the policy be relayed to all hunting rifle dealers, the statement said.
Elmadhavri arrived in Istanbul on Nov. 27 and checked into the Kristal Otel in central Istanbul. On the day of the attack, he traveled to Sultanahmet Square in a taxi. He later bought one rifle and one shotgun in two different shops before going to sit at a coffee shop.
The assailant then took out his guns at the café and started walking toward the palace. Although he was spotted by some civilians, the soldier on duty at the door of the Topkapı Palace was caught off guard and shot in the leg.
The 36-year-old attacker then grabbed the soldier’s MP5 machine pistol and shot a security guard with it, before engaging in a one-hour gunfight with the police.
Elmadhavri was killed in the gunfight.
Compiled from Anatolia news agency and Doğan news agency stories by the Daily News staff in Istanbul.