Turkish Prosecutor Dies After Being Taken Hostage in Court

A Turkish prosecutor died in hospital from injuries sustained after he was taken hostage in an Istanbul courtroom by leftist militants.

Mehmet Selim Kiraz was taken to a hospital after police raided the court, killing two of the attackers, according to the official Anadolu news agency.

Kiraz was investigating the death of Berkin Elvan, a teenager killed by a police gas canister during the anti-government Gezi Park demonstrations in 2013. The gunmen raided his sixth-floor office at Istanbul’s main courthouse in Caglayan district, and barricaded themselves inside. They were demanding that authorities revoke a decision to allow policemen implicated in Elvan’s death to continue their duties, TRT said.

The 15-year-old was hit and knocked into a coma by a gas canister fired by police during the Gezi protests, then died of those injuries in March 2014. His funeral turned into an anti-government demonstration.

Police deployed anti-terror squads at the courthouse after militants distributed pictures of the prosecutor with a gun to his head via Twitter, Hurriyet newspaper reported.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a televised address late Tuesday that the attackers entered the courthouse wearing lawyers’ robes, and the police intervened after hearing gunshots. He said the country is seeing “provocations” as it prepares for parliamentary elections in June.

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