VIJAY SHAH via Ace Worldwide News Group/Dogan News Agency/Hurriyet
As Turkey still reels from several bombings in Istanbul and Ankara and an attempted coup by a faction of the armed forces last Friday, more tragedy struck today as a number of ‘unknown assailants’ opened fire on a group of police officers in the Maçka district of Trabzon province in northern Turkey, which borders the Black Sea. Two officers were reported killed, according to the English-language version of the newspaper Hürriyet, via Ace Worldwide News Group and local news organisation, the Doğan News Agency.
The police officers were conducting road checks when the gunmen opened fire on them from a nearby forest. Two officers were killed on the spot and five other officers and a passing civilian were injured. Extra police and ambulances were drafted in. Locals angered by the atrocity and spurred on by the recent failed coup, took up arms and proceeded to the forest to find the killers. Clashes were reported, however there is no word as to the fate of the gunmen.
Last Friday, a coup was instigated by members of the Turkish army opposed to the government of president Tayyip Recep Erdogan. While the president was on holiday in the Mediterranean port of Marmaris, soldiers and army officers were seen driving tanks down main streets in Ankara, the country’s capital, and road blocks were set up in Istanbul. An F-16 bomber plane even aimed gunfire at the Turkish parliament. The rebellion was quickly put down, with around 200 people killed and more than a 1,000 injured. Since then, Erdogan has vowed to flush the ‘virus’ of rebellion out of the armed forces and police. Thousands have been arrested or dismissed from their posts, with some senior army officers fleeing to nearby Greece.
It is not known if the Maçka attackers were connected to the coup, or to Kurdish rebels or Daesh, both of whom have a history of launching fatal attacks on Turkish soil. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) usually launch attacks on army or police attachments and patrols, but their attacks are largely confined to the Turkish part of Kurdistan.