Reuters & Duvar English
Police detained an armed man who took staff hostage at a Procter & Gamble PG.N factory in northwestern Turkey on Feb. 1 and rescued seven hostages, ending a protest against Israel's military campaign in Gaza, the local governor's office said.
The Kocaeli Governor's Office said that the hostages were unharmed, adding that the operation to rescue them was launched after negotiations with the hostage-taker failed.
"Our security forces intervened and neutralized the suspect," the statement said, adding that he was an employee of the factory who "wanted to draw attention to the ongoing occupation in Gaza."
P&G thanked the authorities for their handling of the crisis.
"The fact that no one was harmed is our greatest relief. We are grateful to the authorities and first responders who managed the situation with courage and professionalism," the company said in a statement.
"Our efforts to support those employees most directly impacted, their families and the entire P&G community are ongoing."
The hostage-taker entered the factory in Gebze industrial zone in Kocaeli province around 3 p.m. (1200 GMT), the Demiroren news agency said earlier, adding that police had then rushed to the scene and sought to persuade him to give himself up.
The hostages were six men and a woman, media reports had said.
A photo released by local media earlier showed a man inside the factory whose face was covered with a Palestinian scarf and who was wearing what looked possibly like an explosive device.
Another photo from the scene showed the man holding a gun in one hand and making a 'V' sign with his other hand in front of a wall on which Turkish and Palestinian flags were painted with a script that reads: "Gates will open. Either coffin rest or death for Gaza."
Hostages celebrate birthday inside factory
As it was the birthday of one of the hostages, her colleagues who had made preparations in advance, asked the attacker for permission to celebrate her birthday.
With the permission of the attacker, a birthday celebration was held for one of the factory employees. While blowing out the candles on the cake bought in advance, her friends celebrated the birthday of the employee.
In the video released while they were still being held hostage, it was seen that the hostages were in good health.
The attacker continued to post on social media throughout the hostage-taking process. In a post, he wrote about the celebration of the birthday of one of the hostages, "Every death is pregnant with a birth. Hoping for the birth of peace and the opening of the doors of peace."