Police move against militants in İstanbul’s Gazi


Police conducted morning operations against Marxist-Leninist groups in Gazi, a working-class neighborhood of İstanbul, on Friday on the 34th anniversary of the Sept. 12, 1980 military coup.


Teams from the İstanbul Police Department's Counterterrorism Unit raided 40 addresses and detained 14 people. Police also seized pistols and shotguns belonging to members of the far-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) terrorist group and the People's Front (Halk Cephesi), according to news reports and social media coverage.


Police water cannon trucks were deployed at certain locations in Gazi -- a predominately Alevi neighborhood -- with one placed directly outside a local cemevi, an Alevi house of worship. Moreover, a police helicopter provided additional support and tear gas was fired at protesters by riot police.


The operation was held on the anniversary of a symbolic day in Turkish history. The Sept. 12, 1980 military coup d'état brought an end to high tensions between uncompromising right-wing and left-wing armed youth groups. Those behind the coup also dissolved Parliament and banned all political activity. The coup ushered in a period of extreme government aggression, with the subsequent arrest of an estimated 500,000 activists and opposition figures.