Forty detained in operation against leftist group in Istanbul

Forty detained in operation against leftist group in Istanbul

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Forty detained in operation against leftist group in Istanbul

Police stormed the building of the Gülsuyu Gülensu Rights Association early this morning, seizing many documents for examination. DHA photo

Istanbul police launched a major operation early this morning in the Gülsuyu and Gazi neighborhoods against a leftist group after several of its members attended with rifles the funeral of a young man who was shot dead while protesting against drug gangs in Gülsuyu on Sept. 30.

The operation was launched after the members of group, who were spotted with rifles at the funeral of 21-year-old Hasan Ferit Gedik, were identified as members of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) by the counter-terrorism branch of Istanbul police.

A total of 40 people have been detained during the operation which was conducted at a number of locations in the two aforementioned districts, with around 1,500 members of the special police forces and riot teams with helicopter support.

A long-barreled weapon and four pistols were seized during the raids.

The police also stormed the building of an association, the Gülsuyu Gülensu Rights Association, early in the morning and seized many documents for examination.

Clashes occurred last night between a group of protesters and the police as the latter refused to permit the group to march to commemorate Gedik in Gülsuyu, which is in the district of Maltepe on the Asian side.

The protesters responded by throwing Molotov cocktails at the police, who intervened against the group with tear gas.

Gedik’s funeral was delayed for three days because police refused to allow the deceased’s family to conduct a commemoration ceremony at the murder scene, ostensibly due to security concerns.

Neighborhood residents have long excoriated the police for either doing too little to crack down on the drug gangs or tacitly collaborating with the groups. Gedik's family also accused plainclothes police officers of attempting to destroy evidence from the murder while his body was at hospital.

Gedik’s murder was the latest in a series of violent incidents that have occurred in the neighborhood due to the ongoing conflict between drug dealers in the area and leftist groups, including the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP), the DHKP/C and the People’s Front, of which Gedik was also reported to be a member.

Narcotics operation

A separate operation was conducted by the Narcotics Branch Office of Istanbul police at a number of locations in Gülsuyu and Gülensu neighborhoods simultaneously with the counter-terrorism operation. Seventeen people were detained during the operation for allegedly dealing drugs. They were transferred to Istanbul Police Headquarters after a medical examination.