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Turkey's far-left group implicated in assassination plots

Members of Turkey's Marxist-Leninist DHKP-C were reportedly in possession of files detailing murder plots against state officials and MPs
Image from Istanbul courthouse surveillance camera footage on 31 March, 2015 shows suspected gunmen walking towards Turkish prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz's office (AA)

Istanbul – Seized files belonging to members of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP-C, show that numerous high-ranking Turkish officials and businessmen were designated as potential assassination targets, security officials said on Thursday.

As two members of DHKP-C were taken into custody on Monday, police seized numerous files and documents detailing murder plots against state officials, including MPs, national intelligence service members and police officers.

According to the Turkey Anti-Terror and Operations Office statement issued on Thursday, the organisation's alleged leaders also ordered several armed attacks against Turkish military, police headquarters and national intelligence service buildings.

The seized files detailed a plan intended to garner extensive coverage from Turkish and international media. According to the evidence found, the plan was for militants disguised as Turkish officers to penetrate police stations in vehicles transformed into police cars and detonate bombs.

The documents also show that leaders of the illegal far-leftist organization had forbidden its members from making phone calls. They had also encouraged them to join different political organisations in order to better mask their intentions.

On 31 March, prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz was taken hostage by two members of the group in an Istanbul courthouse and was shot and killed following hours of negotiations with Turkish police forces.

He had been overseeing the case of Berkin Elvan, 15, who was critically injured during 2013’s anti-government Gezi Park protests and died after almost nine months in a coma.

The DHKP-C was founded in 1978. Purportedly supporting Marxist-Leninist ideology, it was mostly active during the Cold War era, but the group has revived its attacks in recent years.