2 held after Istanbul palace shooting

2015-08-19 16:30
Turkish flags fly in the wind during a demonstration on Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey. (Gero Breloer, AP)

Turkish flags fly in the wind during a demonstration on Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey. (Gero Breloer, AP)

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Istanbul - Two people were arrested on Wednesday after allegedly opening fire on Istanbul's Dolmabahce Palace, the former home of sultans on the Bosphorus, the Dogan news agency reported.

No one was injured. The arrests took place close to the German consulate, which is near the Ottoman-era palace. A wing of the palace, most of which is open to tourists, is used by the government.

The incident followed the overnight death of a 17-year-old boy during clashes in Istanbul between police and Kurdish youth, as violence has escalated since the ceasefire between the government and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) collapsed last month.

Clashes with the PKK, which is seeking greater autonomy for the Kurdish ethnic minority, persisted in the mostly Kurdish south-east. In Siirt, a remote-controlled roadside bomb killed eight soldiers while they were on patrol, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

In Diyarbakir, two days of clashes between security forces and Kurdish fighters left four soldiers dead. Photos on social media from the Silvan district showed the damage from the street battles involving firearms and grenades. Store fronts were damaged and buildings had fire damage and exteriors pockmarked by the shooting.

At least 94 people have been killed in clashes in Turkey since July when the ceasefire collapsed, according to a tally by dpa.

Turkey has carried out airstrikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq and the south-east. Turkey has also stepped up arrests as part of a crackdown on Islamist, leftist and Kurdish groups in Turkey 

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Dolmabahce attack.

In January, a member of the far-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) attacked the palace with grenades, although they failed to explode. The DHKP-C also claimed an attack on the US consulate in Istanbul this month.

The unrest comes as Turkey appears set to hold fresh elections this year after the polls in June led to a hung parliament, increasing concerns about political instability.

Read more on:    pkk  |  turkey

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