Turkish Prosecutor Dies After Istanbul Hostage Shootout

Two Suspected members of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) took prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz hostage at the Istanbul Courthouse on Tuesday morning.

Mehmet Selim Kiraz_Istanbul_Apr 2015_Turkey_ADThe hostage taking was related to the case of the killing of Gezi Park protest victim Berkin Elvan.

A photo was later released on social media showing someone pointing a gun at the head of Kiraz. Kiraz and the perpetrator were photographed against the backdrop of a DKKP-C flag.

According to a statement carried on halkinsesi.tv, a site that is known for having close ties to the DHKP-C, the perpetrators gave authorities until 3.36pm to meet the demands of the group.

The demands included a live confession by the police officers suspected of killing Elvan, the prosecution of the officers responsible in a “people’s court,” the acquittal of all people who are being tried for participation in solidarity rallies for Elvan, as well as other requests.

Police cordoned off the sixth floor of the courthouse where Kiraz’s room is located. Specialists were dispatched to the scene. It remains unknown how the assailants entered the building with a gun.

An operation took place late on Tuesday afternoon, and the two suspected members of the DHPK-C were killed.

Prosecutor Kiraz suffered critical injuries during the operation, and was rushed to hospital. He arrived at the hospital in critical condition. He was also pronounced dead later on Tuesday night following an over one hour-long effort to save his life.

Berkin Elvan had died on March 11, 2014, 269 days after he was sent into a coma when he was struck by a tear-gas canister during the Gezi protests.