Gunman surrenders, 10 hostages freed after nine-hour standoff

Gunman surrenders, 10 hostages freed after nine-hour standoff

Gunman surrenders, 10 hostages freed after nine-hour standoff

DHA Photo

A man who attempted to rob a bank in the southeastern province of Van and held people hostage for hours has surrendered, some nine hours after the crisis began.

Veysel Yolcudağ took 10 people hostage by gunpoint in a state-owned bank at around 4:30 pm and demanded 500,000 Turkish Liras and a helicopter in exchange for the safe release of the hostages. The police forces took high-security measures near the bank building after arriving on the scene and talked to the Yolcudağ in an attempt to persuade him to surrender. 

The police were successful in their efforts, as 29-year-old Yolcudağ surrendered some nine hours after the hostage crisis began. None of the 10 hostages were reported to be injured.

Yolcudağ, a father of three, had threatened to kill the hostages if his demands were not met. It was reported that he was working at 100. Yıl University in Van. It was later reported Yolcudağ was in debt around 380,000 liras to cover the cancer treatment expenses of his father, who died three years ago.

Van police chief Mahmut Karaaslan thanked his police officials “who worked hard to persuade the man.” Karaaslan said the suspect was depressed due to some family issues. 

“There were 10 hostages inside the building. He had released three of them first,” said the police chief.

Yolcudağ also claimed he was in possession of a bomb during the standoff, but Karaaslan said they only found fake bomb materials on the man’s body.

The hostages were sent home after they were interviewed over the incident. The suspect was taken to hospital under tight security after his surrender, before being transferred to the police building.