Turkish police detain 'mentally unstable man' with fake bomb near PM’s office
"This individual was carrying a device resembling a bomb but
in fact it was not one," Interior Minister Muammer Guler told
reporters. The minister described the suspect, identified
as 52-year-old Tugrul Bayir, as "mentally unstable", AFP
NTV television reported that Bayir had called the police saying
he was a suicide bomber and was planning to go to Erdogan's
office. He later showed up on at the property and attempted to
breach a security cordon near the prime minister’s office in the
Police reportedly fired nearly up to six warning shots into the
air after Bayir refused to show his ID card and then failed to
comply with an order to stop, according to the newspaper Today's
Zaman. A witness said he was wearing a corset around his waist
carrying some type of cement with cables attached to it as well
as a black box. Government security guards reportedly pounced on
the suspect when he attempted to detonate what they believed at
the time was a bomb. The suspect was then taken to Cankaya Police
Department to undergo investigation.
The state-run Anadolu Agency earlier reported that Bayir was
hospitalized after being shot in the foot, Hurriyet daily
reports. Eyewitnesses also told the Cihan news agency that the
man was shot by guards.
Initial reports said the man had been shot dead at the scene of
The incident comes as Prime Minister Erdogan is set to arrive in
the Russian city of Saint Petersburg on Thursday to attend a
High-Level Cooperation Council with Russian President Vladimir
Putin, with the ongoing crisis in Syria likely to top the agenda.
Erdogan, who will be accompanied by a ministerial delegation, are
also set to discuss Turkey’s first planned Mersin-Akkuyu nuclear
power plant to be built by the Russian state corporation Rosatom.
The project is estimated at $20 billion.
Russia is one of Turkey’s primary trading partners, with the
trade volume between the states standing at $34 billion. The
countries hope to treble that figure in under a decade.
The opening of a Russian-Turkish Culture Center in Turkey asd
well as the restoration of Turkish war cemeteries in Russia are
also on the agenda.
Erdogan was reportedly not in his office at the time of the
incident, and is set to depart for Russia later on Thursday.