Istanbul, July 28 () - A police officer has been killed in clashes with a group of protesters in Istanbul’s Gazi neighborhood after days of clashes following the death of a Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) member in a vast anti-terror operation launched last July 24 in Istanbul.
Police officer Muhammet Fatih Sivri was shot in the chest from inside a building on July 26 while he tried to make an arrest during clashes which raged all day. Sivri was taken to hospital after the shooting, where he died.
The clashes erupted in Gazi, an Alevi stronghold, when the police moved in after protesters refused to hand over the body of Günay Özarslan, the DHKP-C member killed during Istanbul’s vast anti-terror operation, to the municipal authorities for burial. The body is being kept in a local Alevi house of worship.
The funeral ceremony for Özarslan has been delayed because the police have not allowed the protesters, whom the Istanbul Governor has accused of making terrorism propaganda, to march during the funeral.
Turkey has recently seen an increase in the number of violent acts against Turkish security forces, police officers in particular, in multiple provinces across the country.
Five police officers were injured late July 26 after gunmen opened fire and threw homemade explosives at a police station in the Nusaybin district of the southeastern province of Mardin.
The police officers, Mustafa Ceylan, Güven Candan, Mustafa Kemal Öztürk, İbrahim Ersoy and Abullah Akbulut, were injured, after unidentified gunmen opened fire at long range and threw homemade explosives at the Nusaybin District Traffic Control Department located on the Silk Road, part of which runs through Nusaybin.
In the eastern province of Van, two police officers were injured early July 27 after an unknown number of assailants opened fire from long range at a police watch box located behind the district government building in the Erciş district. The injured police officer was taken to the Erciş Public Hospital and the assailants were reported to be at large.
In a separate incident in Van, an unidentified gunman opened fire at a guarded police vehicle in the Hacıbekir neighborhood late July 26, with no casualties reported. The shooting happened during clashes between the police and a group of people protesting Turkey’s shelling of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) camps in northern Iraq over the weekend.
In Turkey’s eastern province of Bitlis, five suspects were detained in the Tatvan district for opening fire at a police vehicle and firing rockets at the Tatvan District Police Department residences late July 26. No casualties were reported and the police found a large number of molotov cocktails at the scene.
Two separate incidents were also reported in the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakır and Şırnak.
Some 31 homemade bombs were discovered near a police station in Diyarbakır around 12:30 p.m. on July 26, the Diyarbakır Police Department said in a written statement, adding two suspects had been detained over the incident and the investigation was ongoing.
In a separate incident in Şırnak’s Cizre district, an unknown number of gunmen opened fire from long range at the Cizre Police Department retreat around 3:30 p.m. on July 26, with no casualties reported.