Turkey’s opposition furious at gov’t over failure in deadly hostage-taking
Police officers carry his coffin as some thousands of people attend the funeral ceremony for Turkish prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz inside the main courthouse where he died on Tuesday in Istanbul, Turkey, Wednesday, April 1, 2015. AP PhotoTurkey’s opposition parties have blamed the government for failing to rescue prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz, 46, who was killed after he was taken hostage by two members of an outlawed group on March 31, decrying the security forces’ failed rescue operation that ended with death of all three individuals.
Prosecutor Kiraz and two members of the far leftist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) died after a six-hour hostage drama in a courthouse in Istanbul on March 31 after a shootout between the hostage takers and police, officials said.
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) expressed deep sorrow over the deadly result of the police rescue operation attempt.
“We expect all details of this fatal and painful incident to be carefully investigated and its results to be shared with the public. We also want to say we are astonished at those who present as a ‘success’ the three dead bodies, including Prosecutor Selim Kiraz, that resulted from the operation,” said a written statement from the HDP released on April 1, in reference to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s public claim that the operation was a “success.”
Vowing to hold those responsible for the attack, which he described as “flagrant,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu urged “tranquility and common sense” so that this incident would not lead to further fatal results.
“I also call on Davutoğlu - who has made a habit out of accusing the CHP after every one of his failures, and who has therefore shown that the seat he occupies does not befit him - to stop complaining like a child and to act in a way that his office deserves,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in a written statement on April 1.
Kiraz had been leading an investigation into the death last March of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan, who died nine months after falling into a coma from a head wound sustained from a police tear gas canister during anti-government protests in 2013.
The hostage-taking was an act of revenge for Elvan’s death, the DHKP-C stated on its website.
For his part, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli questioned the effectiveness of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) after the incident, while also regretting the fact that a terrorist act had been dedicated to the memory of Elvan.
“This treacherous attack is not aimed at only against our deceased martyr [Kiraz]. Turkey has been hit, the blood of Turkish justice has been shed and 78 million [citizens of the country] have been targeted.
Berkin Elvan has once again been massacred. Only those who are pleased with social polarization and those who compete to exploit the very young and tender body of Berkin Elvan are glorying in this incident,” Bahçeli said in a written statement.