Family of terror suspect denies her involvement in Istanbul attack
Serpil Kırkeser / Ümit Türk ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoThe family of Elif Sultan Kalsen, who has been announced as a terror attack suspect and a suicide bomber on several occasions, has cried foul, saying they feared for their daughter’s safety after “groundless claims.”
Kesen’s parents on Feb. 3 met with the prosecutor in charge of the probe into a gun attack on a security unit at Istanbul’s Taksim Square last week, after police identified the attacker as their daughter. Her daughter is a member of the illegal far-left group the Revolutionary People’s Liberation/Party Front (DHKP/C).
“My daughter was arrested and released on several occasions after she made press statements while she was a university student. Warrants for her arrest were issued. She was also declared a suicide bomber a few times. These ‘suicide bomber’ [claims] have always been groundless,” said her father, Mehmet Kalsen.
He asked the Istanbul Police Department and the Istanbul Governor’s Office to “provide protection for his daughter and to not leak groundless claims to the press,” as they feared for her safety due to the claims.
He also denied that his daughter was the assailant in the recent gun attack in Taksim Square.
Şirin Kalsen, the suspect’s mother, said she was studying international relations but had been unable to attend classes after being announced as a suicide bomber.
“My daughter may be a revolutionary, or she may be a politician, but she has nothing to do with bombs. She cannot kill police,” she said, adding that accusations were made against Kalsen for both attacks through “slander.”
Kalsen’s name was also cited as a suspect in the suicide bomb attack on Jan. 6 at the Tourism Police Station in one of Istanbul’s most popular touristic spots, in which one policeman was killed.
Before the suicide bomber’s identity was revealed by authorities, the DHKP/C claimed the attack, saying the bomber was Kalsen. However, her family later said the body at the morgue did not belong to their daughter.
Turkish media subsequently reported the assailant’s identity as Diana Ramazova, a Russian citizen from the Republic of Daghestan who was reportedly “radicalized by the Wahhabi ideology.”