Turkey, archive

Turkey: Briton linked to hostage takers to appeal arrest

Stephen Shah Kaczynski denies being member of outlawed leftist organization, says lawyer.

07.04.2015
Turkey: Briton linked to hostage takers to appeal arrest

By Tuncay Kayaoglu

ISTANBUL 

The Turkish lawyer representing Stephen Shah Kaczynski, who was put in jail over accusations of being a member of an outlawed leftist organization involved in a recent deadly hostage situation, said on Tuesday he will appeal the ruling on Thursday.

“My client refuted all charges. I am going to appeal the arrest ruling,” Ozgur Yilmaz told the Anadolu Agency. He added the court had to rule on his appeal within 15 days.

Kacynski, a 52-year-old British national of Polish origin, was taken into custody last Thursday after Istanbul police raided 38 different locations in Okmeydani district.

The raid came after a hostage situation last Tuesday - for which members of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP-C, claimed responsibility - led to the death of Turkish prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz.

Appearing before the court on Saturday, the Istanbul court ruled for Kacynski’s arrest along with four others. Kacynski was jailed in Istanbul’s Maltepe district.

Turkish local media reported that the British national arrived in Turkey, with three different plots up his sleeve, including last Tuesday’s hostage standoff.

Police sources talking to local media said Kacynski had entered Turkey from Greece, adding that his bank accounts showed “suspicious activity” after his arrival in the country. 

His lawyer denied accusations that Kacynski was a member of the leftist organization.

“Three questions were asked (at the prosecution office). Those questions do not justify in any way that my client is a member of such a group,” Yilmaz said, adding that Kacynski was at an Istanbul cultural center only to spend the night.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman in London confirmed that a British national was arrested, adding that, “We are offering consular assistance.”

The lawyer said no British official had gotten in touch with him so far. “But Kacynski received a call from British officials, informing him about the legal procedure (in Turkey),” Yilmaz said.

The DHKP-C was founded in 1978. Purportedly supporting Marxist-Leninist ideology, it was mostly active during the Cold War era. The group has revived its attacks in recent years.

Targeting security officials, high-profile politicians and carrying out suicide bombings, DHKP-C is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

 

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