A ‘lone wolf’ has killed himself in Istanbul as he fled his home to join anti-government protests
Istanbul – The death of a lone gunman who died in a shootout with police in Istanbul on Sunday was an act of revenge, the city’s mayor said on Monday, a day after a gunman killed two Turkish police officers.
Istanbul mayor Kadir Topbas blamed the killing of Huseyin Cengiz, 38, on an unknown gang in the Turkish capital, accusing them of killing the officers.
Cengis death was not connected to the recent protests that have turned Istanbul into a political hotbed.
“The motive for this act is not known, but it could have been connected to what is happening in Turkey,” Topbas said in a statement.
He said he did not know who carried out the shooting but that the gunman’s death was an “act of revenge” against the government.
Cenkos killings were the first in Turkey since the coup attempt last year, which was orchestrated by Turkey’s military and its ally the US.
The US and other Nato allies have condemned Cengys killing as an act by an “unknown group”.
The US has imposed travel restrictions on Turkey and called for the extradition of Cengi, who lived in Washington, DC, before fleeing to Istanbul.
The killing of Cenko has fuelled tensions between Turkey and its Western allies.
Turkey has criticised Washington for being too slow to extradite Cengio, a German citizen who is wanted by Germany for his alleged role in the coup.
The German Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that it was deeply shocked by Cengici killing.
Censorship and threats to the country’s reputation have also been a constant feature of Turkish media.
Topbas’ statement said he was asking the US State Department for information about the shooting.
Cans of beer and cigarettes were seen in Cengies home, while other weapons were stored in the home.
The police had cordoned off the neighbourhood in Istanbul’s Taksim Square where the shooting occurred, and a number of other streets and areas in the city.
A police spokesman said they were still searching for Cengisi’s vehicle and a bodyguard.
The shootings in Istanbul came a day before protests in Turkey’s main cities are expected to take place over the weekend, in what is seen as a warning to protesters that the government is not taking sides and will not tolerate violence.