Istanbul – Police in Istanbul killed two female militants from the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) on Thursday morning after they staged an attack on police, firing guns and launching a hand grenade.
The women were killed during a police operation after they staged an armed attack on a riot police station in İstanbul’s Bayrampaşa district at approximately 10 a.m.
The attackers were identified by police reports as DHKP/C militants Berna Yılmaz, 27, and Çiğdem Yakşi, 32. Security camera footage showed the women firing at a police bus outside the riot police station in Bayrampaşa and also hurling a hand grenade, before apparently taking aim at the police station. The hand grenade did not explode.
They fled the scene in a vehicle and hid in a building a short distance from the police station. Special forces police quickly surrounded the building and launched an operation after the pair ignored calls to surrender and opened fire on the officers.
An operation, backed by special forces and a helicopter, was launched in the neighborhood by police, who closed off the street the women had fled to and evacuated residents. Both of the women were killed.
İstanbul Governor Vasip Şahin visited the Bayrampaşa police station and issued a statement informing the public that the “two terrorists were killed and two polıce officers sustained minor injuries.”
Şahin said that one of the officers was hurt by broken glass during the attack on the bus and the other was injured during the assault on the building.
Crime scene investigation teams launched a large-scale investigation in the area to collect evidence and security measures have been stepped up across İstanbul.
Yılmaz had been previously detained in March 2010 after she staged a protest at a meeting attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was then the prime minister. Yılmaz and other students unfurled a banner at the meeting, which read: “We want free education. We will get it.”
She was subsequently arrested by the İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court and convicted to a 19-month-long prison sentence on charges of being a member of a terrorist organization.
Yakşi had also been detained previously. In January 2012, she was detained on suspicion of plotting to carry out a suicide attack. She was convicted to a one year jail sentence and was released from prison in January 2013.
The DHKP/C has staged similar attacks on police stations before, largely in İstanbul’s suburbs. Last month a DHKP/C militant was killed after several militants from the group attacked a police station in Armutlu, a neighborhood of the Sarıyer district in İstanbul, with handmade explosives. The other attackers fled the area.
In April 2015, a DHKP/C terrorist identified as Elif Sultan Kalsen attacked an İstanbul police station with hand grenades and a Kalashnikov. Two police officers were injured and Kalsen was killed by police fire. The group is also responsible for the killing of a public prosecutor after he was taken hostage in an İstanbul courthouse in March of 2015. The two DHKP/C militants responsible were killed during a police recovery operation.
The DHKP/C also carried out the 2013 suicide bombing on the US embassy in Ankara that killed a security guard. Last year, DHKP/C militants opened fire around the US consulate in İstanbul.
Attacks on safety forces have increased in Turkey as violence has flared up within the predominantly Kurdish southeast where a cease-fire between Kurdistan Workers’ Celebration (PKK) militants and also the government collapsed last July. The PKK, considered a terrorist organızation by Turkey, the us and the European Union, launched a bloody war towards the Turkish state 3 decades ago. Greater than forty,000 people, mainly Kurds, have because been killed.
Turkey has also become a target for Islamic State in Iraq and also the Levant (ISIL) militants, who’re blamed for 3 suicide bombings – Suruç, Ankara and January’s attack on İstanbul — killing more than 140 individuals in complete.
A suicide vehicle bombing that targeted military buses in Ankara killed 29 people final month. The government said that assault was carried out by a member of the People’s Safety Units (YPG), a Syrian Kurdish militia, with assist from PKK militants.