Radical Turkish Marxist group claims responsibility for US consulate attack in Istanbul
An outlawed radical Turkish Marxist group on Monday claimed responsibility for a gun attack on the US consulate in Istanbul.
The Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP-C) said on its website that one of its female militants carried out the attack.
It named her as Hatice Asik and said she was later arrested and taken to hospital after being shot by police.
“Our struggle will continue until imperialism and its collaborators leave our country and every parcel of our homeland is cleared of US bases,” it said, praising Asik as “our honour”.
A Turkish official in Ankara had earlier told AFP on condition of anonymity that the attack “on the consulate is linked with the DHKP-C”.
The attack comes as Turkey opens up its Incirlik air base in the southeast of the country to host US fighter jets to carry out bombing raids against Islamic State (IS) targets in Syria.
The group had claimed a 2013 suicide attack at the US embassy in Ankara that left one security agent dead.
Turkish authorities said one of two female militants — who they had named as Asik — was captured wounded, and the other was at large.
The Turkish official meanwhile said the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was behind a suicide bombing and gun attack on a police station in Istanbul that left three militants and one top police official dead.
Turkey has launched an offensive against the Islamic State (IS) jihadists and Kurdish militants after a series of attacks inside Turkey.
Authorities have also arrested more than 1,300 suspects since last month in police raids nationwide targeting suspected members of the PKK, IS group as well as the DHKP-C.
The Turkish official insisted there was no contradiction between Turkey fighting both IS and the PKK, even though the two groups are themselves bitterly opposed.
– Deeply secretive group –
“The PKK battling Daesh does not legitimise its actions, nor the fact that it is a terrorist organisation,” the Turkish official said, using a pejorative Arabic acronym for the IS group.
The DHKP-C, known until the mid 1990s as Devrimci Sol (Revolutionary Left), is a deeply secretive group which goes quiet for periods before re-emerging to stage attacks.
The DHKP-C, which is mainly active in Istanbul, seeks a Marxist revolution in Turkey among the working classes but also espouses a fiercely anti-Western and anti-NATO agenda.
It claimed the hostage taking on March 31 of prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz at his office at Istanbul’s main Palace of Justice that ended with the killing of the captive and both hostage takers during a police raid.