A daylight attack on the Caglayan Courthouse, Turkey’s largest courthouse situated in Istanbul, resulted in a fatal shootout leading to the deaths of three people, including the two assailants, and injuries to five more.
The perpetrators, confirmed as affiliates of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP/C), a group acknowledged as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union, initiated their assault at the courthouse’s security checkpoint.
The incident took place on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, when the attackers began firing at a security checkpoint just outside the courthouse. This led to an immediate reaction from the security forces present.
The subsequent gunfire exchange resulted in the death of both attackers and an unidentified individual. Additionally, five individuals, comprising three police officers and two civilians, were left injured.
The DHKP/C, noted for its extremist left-wing ideology, has been associated with acts of violence in Turkey in the past. The group targeted the same courthouse in 2015, leading to a hostage situation and fatal conclusion.
Ali Yerlikaya, the Interior Minister, provided a detailed account of the incident on social media, revealing that the attackers—a male and a female—had focused their attack on a security checkpoint.
He also pointed out their criminal records, stating that they had previously served prison sentences for terrorism-related crimes.
The attack seemed to serve a dual purpose: to disrupt the physical security of the courthouse and to deliver a terrifying message, notably on the day when the older sister of one of the attackers was expected to face terrorism charges in court.
The Anadolu news agency, state-run, released footage capturing the moment when the security forces neutralized the attackers in the courthouse’s forecourt. The video also showed the ensuing panic and chaos as bystanders scrambled for safety.
The assault coincided with a national day of remembrance for earthquake victims, casting a shadow over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s condemnation of the attack and reinforcement of Turkey’s commitment to counterterrorism.
This event, taking place amidst national grief, underscores the ongoing difficulties Turkey encounters in maintaining peace and security within its borders.
Under the supervision of Turkish Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has begun an exhaustive investigation into the attack.