One suspect detained for attack against CHP headquarters

One suspect detained for attack against CHP headquarters

One suspect detained for attack against CHP headquarters

Cihan Photo

Turkish police has detained a suspect in relation to an attack on the main opposition party’s headquarters, while President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called the main opposition leader in order to extend his sympathies about the attack.

An unknown assailant opened fire late Oct. 26 on the Republican People’s Party (CHP) headquarters in Ankara. The suspect, identified as Hacı Ali Hamurcu, was taken into custody on Oct. 28, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. 

President Erdoğan, meanwhile, telephoned CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu late on Oct. 27 to extend his sympathies for the attack, Anadolu reported, citing sources from the president’s office.

Erdoğan told Kılıçdaroğlu that he was briefed on the attack by officials and efforts were underway to shed light on the incident, the same anonymous sources told the agency. Kılıçdaroğlu offered gratitude to Erdoğan for his “sensitivity and interest,” the sources said.

Police found Hamurcu by determining the license plate of the vehicle from images on the Urban Security Management System (known by the acronym MOBESE), a network of CCTV cameras installed around the city to monitor crime, the Anadolu Agency reported.

In 2010, CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu brought to the agenda a 17-person corruption racket in Kayseri that allegedly revolved around the city’s then-mayor, Mehmet Özhaseki, now a deputy of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the agency recalled.

At the time, Kılıçdaroğlu said bribery allegations against Özhaseki had been reported to the police by Hamurcu, a figure allegedly involved in the racket. In 2013, Hamurcu penned a book in which he related the corruption claims. However, upon a complaint by Özhaseki, both Hamurcu and the publishing house were eventually sentenced to pay 7,000 Turkish Liras to Özhaseki for non-pecuniary damages, the agency said.

The attack took place only days before the Nov. 1 snap elections, amid rising concerns over election security with ongoing battles between security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and threats posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). An Oct. 10 double suicide bombing that killed at least 102 people in the capital city of Ankara is largely blamed on ISIL, while the government argues that the attack was organized by a medley of mutual antagonistic entities, including extreme jihadists, the Syrian military intelligence known as the Mukhabarat and outlawed Kurdish groups.

At the time of the attack, CHP’s Deputy Chair Tekin Bingöl said an unknown assailant sitting in the backseat of a black car opened fire five times around 7:15 p.m. after the vehicle slowed down at the entrance door of the party’s headquarters. The car immediately left the scene following the assault, Bingöl said, adding that such incidents would not discourage the party from conducting its pre-election campaigning.