ISTANBUL (AFP) – An outlawed Turkish Marxist group on Friday said it was behind an attempted attack on an Ottoman-era Istanbul palace that formerly held the offices of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) said one of its members carried out the attempted attack on Thursday afternoon outside the historic Dolmabahce palace in Istanbul on the Bosphorus.
The man, named as Firat Ozcelik, hurled two grenades at the police honour guard on duty outside the palace but they failed to explode.
He was swiftly arrested and on Friday morning was being interrogated by police in Istanbul, Turkish television said.
The DHKP-C said in a statement on its website that the “armed action had been realised by one of our warriors”.
The Dolmabahce Palace – one of the last great palaces of the Ottoman Empire and also where the founder of modern Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, died in 1938 – is one of Istanbul’s major tourist attractions.
Part of the palace is open to the public but another wing hosts reception rooms and offices of the Turkish prime minister, a post Erdogan held from 2003-2014 before becoming president.
The DHKP-C said it had been targeted as 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.