Istanbul police yesterday detained two terror suspects linked to the terrorist organization known as the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) who were trained by the PKK, another terrorist group with a similar far-left ideology.
The suspects, captured in a safe house in Istanbul's Ataşehir district, are accused of carrying out nine bomb attacks between 2015 and 2018. Their latest target was Cengiz Holding, a business conglomerate with stakes in energy and the construction sector. Birgül M. and another unidentified suspect were detained for five days after an explosive device with a timer was found in the outer wall of Cengiz Holding's headquarters in Istanbul's Altunizade neighborhood.
Police found grenades and electric equipment used in bomb making in the possession of the two suspects.
The suspects were also involved in bomb attacks targeting offices of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the western Turkish city of İzmir in 2015, bomb attacks targeting a police station and a police patrol the same year, and an attack on a factory in İzmir in 2016. The suspects are also implicated in planting explosives on a road used by a shuttle bus carrying police officers in the southern city of Mersin in 2017, a bomb attack targeting a prison van in İzmir in 2017 and a bomb attack targeting police in the northwestern city of Bursa this year.
Security sources said Birgül M. joined the MLKP in 2010 and was trained in bomb making in PKK terrorist camps in northern Iraq in 2011. She later worked for the People's Protection Units (YPG), a branch of the PKK in Syria, as "a representative" of the MLKP there. She was already wanted on a string of charges ranging from terrorism to smuggling illegal, explosive material.
The MLKP was also responsible for planting an explosive device with a timer in the courtyard of a building housing Star, an Istanbul-based newspaper, in 2015.