Turkish special forces enter Istanbul courthouse after prosecutor taken hostage

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 31, 2015 7:32 AM

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A far-left Turkish group took an Istanbul prosecutor hostage on Tuesday and threatened on its website to kill him, prompting special forces officers to enter the courthouse as people inside the building were evacuated.

The Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) published a picture of the prosecutor with a gun to his head. The prosecutor is leading an investigation into the death last year of a teenager wounded during anti-government protests.

Television footage showed special forces officers entering the building and courthouse officials being escorted out.

The DHKP-C blames the ruling AK Party for the killing of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan, who died last March after nine months in a coma from a head wound sustained in anti-government protests.

The group said on its website it wanted the police officer it blames for Elvan's death to "confess" on television, the officers involved to be tried in "people's courts", and charges against those who attended protests for Elvan to be dropped.

The United States, European Union and Turkey list the DHKP-C as a terrorist organization. It was behind a suicide bombing at the U.S. Embassy in 2013. In 2001, two policemen and an Australian tourist died in a DHKP-C attack in central Istanbul.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Writing by Nick Tattersall; editing by John Stonestreet)