The relatives of defendants and supporters of the terrorist organization the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) engaged in a violent quarrel yesterday during a hearing in the trial of 35 people over the death of a DHKP-C supporter.
Tensions were high in the hearing at a courthouse in Istanbul yesterday as 22 defendants appeared before the court over the 2013 killing of Hasan Ferit Gedik. Gedik was shot dead when suspects opened fire on a group of DHKP-C supporters in city's Maltepe district. As the hearing went into a break, the two groups engaged in a brawl, throwing chairs outside the courtroom at each other. Some hurled bottles while police intervened in the groups and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.
The terrorist organization, responsible for a string of attacks against security forces and a suicide bombing at the U.S. embassy in Ankara, is known for its "anti-drug" campaign in Istanbul's working-class neighborhoods, where it draws support. The group, which is seeking legitimacy for its activities, has recently adopted a self-styled vigilante campaign that pitted it against the PKK, another terrorist organization engaged in a turf war with the DHKP-C.