Police officer shot after 'illegal group' dispersed in Istanbul


Police say the group was using as propaganda the funeral of a women who was killed in Bagcilar during a shootout with police

ISTANBUL – A police officer has been critically wounded after being shot while trying to detain a suspect in Istanbul’s Gazi neighborhood, sources say.

Fatih Sivri, a member of the riot police unit, sustained gunshot wounds to the chest after attempting to enter a building in the neighborhood. The perpetrators of the attack are being sought, while Sivri remains in critical condition at hospital, security sources have said.

The attack comes as police in Istanbul have dispersed a group “belonging to an illegal organization” after they blocked a main street and attacked police officers with sticks, stones and Molotov cocktails, police said Sunday.

The group, who were wearing uniforms and masks, was dispersed because it was taking advantage of the funeral ceremony of a woman — reportedly a member of the outlawed far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) — who was killed in Bagcilar on Friday, Istanbul Police Department said in a written statement Sunday.

The corpse of the woman, who lived in Tuzla district of the city’s Asian side, was forcibly taken to a djemevi — an Alevi place of worship — in Gazi neighborhood in Sultangazi district on the European side.

Police said it was propaganda for the leftist terror organization. 

The police department in Gazi neighborhood had taken some safety precautions to allow safe transfer of the corpse to the graveyard, police said, adding precautions were not against the rituals of the funeral.

Istanbul Governor’s Office too stressed in a statement Sunday that the funeral ceremony would go ahead as normal, but security forces would not allow it to turn into terrorist propaganda.

The women was killed during a shootout with police in a wave of anti-terror operations across the country, which saw over 800 detentions on suspicion of having links to terrorist groups, including Daesh and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.