Istanbul (AFP) – An outlawed Turkish Marxist group on Wednesday said one of its members carried out the deadly suicide bombing at the heart of Istanbul’s tourist district that killed the female bomber and a policeman.
The Marxist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party–Front (DHKP-C) said in a statement on its website “our sacrificial fighter… carried out the sacrificial action on the tourist police department in Sultanahmet.”
The suicide bombing early evening Tuesday killed one policeman and lightly injured another in Sultanahmet, the heart of Istanbul’s tourist district which is home to the Aga Sophia museum and the Blue Mosque.
The DHKP-C — a radical Marxist organisation considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and the United States — had also last week claimed a January 1 attempted grenade attack on police guarding the the Dolmabahce palace in Istanbul that caused no serious casualties.
It said that Tuesday’s bombing was aimed at “bringing to account” the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) co-founded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over corruption following a ruling the day earlier that four former ministers accused of graft will not stand trial.
As after the January 1 attack, the DHKP-C also said the bombing was a reprisal for the death of Berkin Elvan, a teenage protester who died in March 2014 after spending 269 days in a coma due to injuries inflicted by the police in the mass anti-government protests of May-June 2013.
The DHKP-C named the suicide attacker as Elif Sultan Kalsen, who according to Turkish media was a woman her mid-20s and an active member of the group.
The DHKP-C has over the last years carried out a string of sporadic and sometimes deadly attacks in Turkey and abroad.
It claimed a suicide bombing in February 2013 at the US embassy in Ankara where a security guard was killed.