Turkey police raid militants after leftist attacks

Updated 02 April 2015

Turkey police raid militants after leftist attacks

ISTANBUL: Turkish police on Thursday launched early morning raids against suspected members of an ultra-leftist group in Istanbul, after two deadly shootouts blamed on the militants that sent a wave of fear through the city.
At least 24 people were arrested in the raids in the Okmeydani district of Istanbul as dozens of police deployed in armored vehicles in the area, Turkish media said.
Police also seized firearms, documents, computers, a large number of bullets and communications devices.
The raids came two days after a prosecutor was killed in Istanbul in a hostage-taking blamed on the far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).
Turkish media said police also arrested five suspected DHKP-C members in the eastern city of Kars and 10 in the Black Sea town of Karabuk.
On Wednesday, a militant tried to storm the police headquarters in Istanbul. Police opened fire in response, killing the female assailant who was armed with grenades and guns.
Turkish media named the dead woman as Elif Sultan Kalsen, 28, saying she was a known member of the DHKP-C.
Initial reports said she had a male accomplice who escaped and was then arrested. However the CNN-Turk channel said Monday that the person was a passer-by who had been wounded in the crossfire.
The DHKP-C has claimed a string of attacks in Turkey in recent months, including an attempted grenade attack in January on police guarding the Dolmabahce palace in Istanbul that caused no serious casualties.
It also claimed a suicide attack in Istanbul later that month but, amid a bizarre sequence of events then withdrew the claim, saying it had made a mistake.
It had said at the time that the suicide bomber was Elif Sultan Kalsen but her parents then said the body was not hers. She has been missing ever since. The authorities then indicated the bomber was a Russian woman from the Caucasus who had married a militant.


Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

Updated 03 August 2020

Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

  • Nassif Hitti submits resignation to the prime minister and leaves government house without making any comments
  • Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Hassan Diab’s government

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s foreign minister resigned on Monday, becoming the first Cabinet minister to defect from his post amid the severe economic and financial crisis striking the country.
Minister Nassif Hitti’s submitted his resignation to the prime minister and left the government house without making any comments.
A career diplomat, Hitti became foreign minister in January as part of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government. He was was reportedly unhappy with the government’s performance and lack of movement on promised reforms.
Local media reports said he also was angered by Diab’s criticism of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian following his visit to Beirut last month. Diab had said Le Drian “did not bring anything new” and was not properly informed about the reforms implemented by the Lebanese government.
It was not immediately clear whether his resignation would be accepted and whether one of the other ministers would assume his responsibilities in caretaker capacity until a new minister is appointed.
Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Diab’s government, which has struggled to implement reforms amid an unprecedented financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.