Hostage drama at Istanbul courthouse ends with two captors, prosecutor dead

Prosecutors, lawyers and judges stand near a statue of Lady Justice during a funeral ceremony for senior Istanbul prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty

A Turkish prosecutor succumbed to his injuries in hospital late March 31 after a six-hour hostage drama in which security forces killed the man’s captors, two suspected members of an outlawed far-left group.

Mehmet Selim Kiraz, the prosecutor in the controversial case into the killing of Gezi victim Berkin Elvan, was taken out of Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse by security forces after the clash, seriously injured, but died in hospital.

“We carried out the negotiation for six hours. But our security forces launched the operation after gunshots were heard while terrorists were speaking on the phone during the negotiation,” Istanbul Police Chief Selami Altınok said after the operation.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated the security forces for the operation, while also noting that Kiraz was shot five times during the episode, with three bullets hitting his head. Erdoğan added that the perpetrators stormed the prosecutor’s room while “wearing lawyer robes.”

Early in the day, a photo was released on social media showing someone pointing a gun at the head of Kiraz against the backdrop of a flag of the illegal organization, which was first shared on Twitter by @aysekosan123, suspected to be affiliated with the outlawed far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP/C). The account was hacked soon after. “This account has been seized. Everything is for the TURKISH people,” the hackers wrote in a tweet.

Various Twitter accounts linked to leftist organizations stated that the DHKP/C claimed responsibility for the hostage-taking incident…