Main opposition head Kılıçdaroğlu faces protests at police officers’ funeral in Istanbul

Main opposition head Kılıçdaroğlu faces protests at police officers’ funeral in Istanbul

Main opposition head Kılıçdaroğlu faces protests at police officers’ funeral in Istanbul

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was protested by a group of unknown people at yesterday’s funeral for two police officers who were killed in a car bomb attack in Istanbul’s Vezneciler district on June 7. A total of 11 people, including four other police officers, were killed in the blast.

The first signs of protest appeared when a wreath bearing Kılıçdaroğlu’s name arrived at the Fatih mosque, where the funeral ceremony for officers Gökhan Topçu and Kadir Cihan Karagözlü was held on June 8. 
According to reports, the group first tore the wreath apart before throwing its remnants at the entrance of the mosque’s courtyard while others went on to kick the flowers. 

Kılıçdaroğlu, accompanied by a number of CHP deputies, arrived at the mosque soon after the noon prayers and was met by chanting protesters, who were calmed by an announcement by the mosque’s imam. 

Following the funeral prayer, a suspect whose identity has not been disclosed allegedly threw a bullet at Kılıçdaroğlu and was immediately apprehended by a plainclothes officer. 

The CHP leader held a press conference a couple hours after the funeral in order to raise his voice against the intimidating attack and express his determination to continue defending his opinions.

“Here is the shameful part: A person walks in front of the president, the prime minister, the interior minister and throws this at me while walking in front of me. Supposedly to threaten me with death,” he said, adding no one could stop him from his course. 

Kılıçdaroğlu also slammed the security forces for allowing such an incident, stressing the CHP would take its own security measures moving forward.

“They think they can change the regime by spilling our blood. No one should consider it. One of us might die but thousands will rise. No one can stop us,” he stressed, adding politics should have no place in funerals or mosques. 

Meanwhile, additional information on the June 7 attack has surfaced, as the police investigation revealed the bomb-laden car used in the attack had been left parked at a nearby multi-story car park for three days. 

Istanbul counterterrorism police revealed that the Renault-model car used in the attack was rented from a car rental company after examining footage from city surveillance cameras and crime scene investigations.

After examining the GPS records of the car rental company and comparing footage, police traced the vehicle to a multi-story car park in the Eminönü neighborhood near the scene of attack.

Accordingly, it has been revealed that the car was parked in the Mercan multi-story car park between May 29 and June 2 at a cost of 72 Turkish Liras. The car was later taken to an unknown location before finally being parked at Vezneciler on the day of the attack. 

Another report by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency alleged the militant suspected of carrying out the attack has been identified, citing security sources. 

Accordingly, police identified the militant who allegedly parked the bomb-laden car and detonated it with a remote control set during the passing of a vehicle carrying anti-riot police.

Work to apprehend the identified militant is ongoing.

Meanwhile, four suspects have been detained on suspicion that they rented the car used in the attack and handed it over to the perpetrators. 

Police are investigating outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) links to the attack, in line with findings from the interrogation of the detained suspects and findings at the scene.

The June 7 car bomb targeting a police vehicle in Vezneciler during the morning rush hour killed 11 people, six of whom were police officers, and wounded 36 others.