Courthouse militant relatives’ previous links to DHKP-C revealed
Yorgo Kirbaki - ATHENS
The two brothers of Şafak Yayla, Mehmet Yayla (C) and Bulut Yayla (R) were previously caught by the police in the operations against the outlawed far-left group Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).Further details about the killers of Turkish prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz, who was shot dead during a hostage situation in an Istanbul courthouse on March 31, have begun to emerge.
The brothers of the captor Şafak Yayla were previously caught by police in operations against the outlawed far-left group Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).
Mehmet Yayla, a brother of Şafak Yayla, was wanted by the police on suspicion of involvement in the attacks against the Justice Ministry and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters in the capital Ankara on March 19, 2013. He was caught while entering Turkey on a raft full of ammunition off the Aegean coast on July 30, 2013. A Greek court sentenced him to seven years in prison. He is expected to be released within 1.5 years.
Meanwhile Bulut Yayla, another brother of Şafak Yayla who is responsible for the formation of the DHKP-C’s youth group, was caught by security forces while entering the country from the northwestern province of Edirne in 2013.
The Interior Ministry announced that Bulut Yayla was the fugitive of a simultaneous operation in 11 provinces between May 8 and 9, 2012, adding that Yayla received training in Europe and entered Turkey illegally to conduct attacks on security forces and foreign representative offices. The ministry also announced that he was arrested on June 3, despite claims that he was caught in a Turkish-Greek joint operation in Athens and extradited to Turkey.
The United States Department of State had also placed Bulut Yayla on the Foreign Terrorist Organizations List in the aftermath of the U.S. Embassy attack in Ankara on Feb. 1, 2013.
Şafak Yayla and Bahtiyar Doğruyol, who both have alleged links to the DHKP-C, took Mehmet Selim Kiraz, the prosecutor in the controversial case into the killing of Gezi victim Berkin Elvan, hostage on March 31 in Istanbul’s Çağlayan courthouse. Kiraz succumbed to his injuries in hospital after the six-hour hostage drama, during which security forces killed the two captors.