Shooters killed after wounding five, killing one in Istanbul courthouse attack

Five individuals, including three police officers, sustained injuries and one died after a gun attack outside Istanbul's Çağlayan Courthouse by two attackers who were believed to be with the leftist DHKP-C militant group.

Duvar English

Five people including three police officers were wounded and one died in a gun attack in front of an Istanbul courthouse on Feb. 6 that left the two shooters killed in a gun battle.

Dilfiraz Karataş, who was seriously wounded in the attack, could not be saved at the hospital.

The shooters - a woman and a man - were believed to be with the leftist DHKP-C militant group, Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said on social media platform X. They fired on a police checkpoint near the central courthouse at 0846 GMT.

"An attempted terror attack was carried out today toward the checkpoint in front of the Cağlayan Courthouse," Yerlikaya said. "It has been found that the two traitors - named E.Y. and P.B. - who have been neutralized were members of the DHKP/C terrorist organization."

Turkish officials often use initials to refer to suspects or victims in incidents. They usually use the term "neutralized" to mean killed.

Patrol teams suspicious of the situation of two people heading towards the courthouse stopped them and asked for their IDs. Upon this, Pınar Birkoç and Emrah Yayla sprayed pepper gas at the police, started to run and shoot at the police.

After the incident, an examination of the bag found next to the attackers revealed a device with an undetermined content, plastic handcuffs, and 48 bullets.

Necmiye Birkoç, sister of Pınar Birkoç, had a hearing today at the courthouse on the charge of "being a member of an armed terrorist organization." The police detained her, her sister, and some other people in the courtroom.

Footage from the scene showed heavy police presence at the entrance to the courthouse, where entries and exits have been blocked.

Police forensic experts examine the area after a shooting outside the Cağlayan courthouse in Istanbul, Feb. 6. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Turkish authorities detain 34 suspects

Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç said prosecutors had launched an investigation into the attack. Making a statement in front of the courthouse later, Tunç stated that 34 people were detained in connection with the attack.

During the operations, The Idil Cultural Centre in Istanbul's Okmeydanı district was raided and Grup Yorum members were detained.

The Solidarity Association of Prisoners' Families (TAYAD) and People's Law Office were also raided and and some detained. 

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu also shared a message on X, "I condemn the treacherous terrorist attack on the Çağlayan Courthouse. Such provocative attacks can never disrupt our peace and unity."

Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) Chairman Ebubekir Şahin announced that a broadcast ban decision was taken regarding the armed attack.

Mehmet Selim Kiraz, a public prosecutor working at Çağlayan Courthouse, was taken hostage and killed by DHKP-C on March 31, 2015. His name was given to the courthouse later.

Last month, masked Islamic State gunmen killed one person at a church in Istanbul during Sunday mass. Authorities have since captured several people suspected of being linked to the group or the attack.