Suspected members of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) have taken prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz hostage at Istanbul courthouse in connection to the case into the killing of Gezi victim Berkin Elvan. Gunshots have been heard at the building.
A photo has been released on social media showing someone pointing a gun at the head of Kiraz against the backdrop of a flag of the organization. According to a statement carried on halkinsesi.tv, a site that is close to the DHKP-C, the perpetrators have given authorities until 3:36 p.m. to meet the demands of the group. Meanwhile, the first account that shared the photo, @aysekosan123, was hacked soon afterward. “This account has been seized. Everything is for the TURKISH people,” the hackers wrote in a tweet. The perpetrators’ demands include 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 being tried for participation in solidarity rallies for Elvan, as well as other requests.
A hostage situation in an Istanbul courthouse has led to another gag order, adding up to a total of over 150 similar rulings issued in the past four years in Turkey. Using the Prime Ministry’s authority to temporarily ban media coverage in cases related to national security and public order, Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan notified the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) soon after suspected members of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) took prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz hostage at the Istanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan. RTÜK forwarded the decision of the “temporary ban” to Turkish televisions, which immediately cut their live coverage of the ongoing crisis.