Italy arrests Turkish man ‘linked to Istanbul prosecutor’s killing’

Italy arrests Turkish man ‘linked to Istanbul prosecutor’s killing’

Italy arrests Turkish man ‘linked to Istanbul prosecutor’s killing’

A group of lawyers leave carnations at the office of late prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz on April 7. AA Photo

Italian police have arrested a Turkish national allegedly linked to an outlawed far-left group blamed for two recent deadly shootouts in Istanbul, Turkish media reported on April 7.

Erdal Ünal, who was allegedly the instigator of a hostage situation in Istanbul’s Çağlayan courthouse on March 31, was detained in Italy, daily Habertürk reported on April 7.

A bloody hostage standoff between two militants of the outlawed far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) and security forces left Istanbul prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz dead on March 31. Both militants were also killed in the incident.

Turkey had been seeking Ünal’s extradition for an attack on a bank in Ankara in 1995, Agence France-Presse reported. The man, believed to be a member of the DHKP-C, was arrested in Mestre, a port on the Adriatic Sea close to Venice.

He is also accused of acting as a recruiter for the DHKP-C, which is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.

Italian authorities must now decide on whether to allow his extradition to Turkey.

A day after the hostage situation, an armed woman linked to the DHKP-C was killed by police as she tried to storm the city’s police headquarters. Turkish authorities have since rounded up over 30 suspected members of the organization.