Turkish Prosecutor killed in bloody hostage drama

Mehmet Selim Kiraz, the senior Turkish prosecutor who was killed after being taken hostage by suspected members of an outlawed far-left group, will be laid to rest in Istanbul on April 1 after a ceremony at Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

Kiraz, the prosecutor in the controversial case into the killing of Gezi victim Berkin Elvan, was seized by two men in his office on March 31. Security forces launched an operation after gunshots were heard while the terrorists were speaking on the phone during the negotiation to free Kiraz.

The two hostage-takers were killed in the operation, while Kiraz succumbed to his injuries at hospital.

His funeral will be held at the Eyüp Sultan Mosque in Istanbul, attended by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.

Kiraz had been leading the investigation into the killing of teenager Berkin Elvan, who died in March last year after spending 269 days in a coma from injuries inflicted by police in anti-government protests in the summer of 2013.

The perpetrators demanded a live confession by the police officers suspected of killing Elvan, the prosecution of the officers responsible in a “people’s court,” the acquittal of all people being tried for participation in solidarity rallies for Elvan, as well as other requests, according to, a site that is close to the outlawed far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP/C).

Publishing photos of the prosecutor with his mouth bound and a gun to his head, the hostage-takers threatened to kill him if their demands were not met.

Despite the deaths, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated the security forces after the operation, also noting that Kiraz was shot five times during the episode, with three bullets hitting his head. Erdoğan said the perpetrators had stormed the prosecutor’s room while “wearing lawyer robes.”


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