Police and troops in Istanbul swooped dramatically today (Tuesday June in a successful rescue bid to snatch to safety the 14-year-old girl held as hostage for 50 hours by two armed terrorists who had threatened to kill her.
Police and troops in Istanbul swooped dramatically today (Tuesday June in a successful rescue bid to snatch to safety the 14-year-old girl held as hostage for 50 hours by two armed terrorists who had threatened to kill her. They shot their way into the top-storey siege flat and in the brief but savage gunfight that followed one terrorist was fatally wounded. The other survived the flying bullet only to be violently attached by angry mobs and nearly killed before police could whisk him away. The terrorists were believed to have been involved in the kidnapping and killing of Israeli Consul General to Turkey Mr. Ephraim Elrom last month, (May 1971), and during the 50 hour siege had demanded safe conduct out of Turkey in exchange for the girl's life.
A VISNEWS cameraman was on the spot and filmed the entire dramatic swoop, shoot-out and rescue.
SYNOPSIS: In a dramatic gunfight in Istanbul on Tuesday Turkish police and troops rescue the 14-year-old girl hostage held for 50 hours by armed terrorists who had threatened to kill her unless guaranteed safe passage out of Turkey. Troops, police and an angry mob of over a thousand people surrounded the house throughout the long siege. The girl, Sibel Erk was held in her parents' top-floor flat and tied to a chair during her ordeal.
The authorities, who had refused to bargain with the terrorists -- believed to have been involved in the kidnapping and killing last month of the Israeli Consul General to Turkey -- finally tired of waiting and sent troops and police up ladders in a daring snatch operation in which one gunman was fatally injured.
Troops clad in bullet -proof vests climb stealthily into the flat where, three days earlier, began the incident which shocked and angered the people of Turkey. The two gunmen forced their way into the Erkans' flat and held Sibel, her mother and her brother as hostages -- later releasing Mrs. Erkan and her son. Sibel was kept as hostage -- under sentence of death.
The raging mob gasped and shouted "Kill them, kill them," as gunfight erupted in the flat. A navy sharpshooter covering the windows from a nearby building shot and fatally wounded one of the terrorists as police moved in under covering fire from troops.
Below, police had to rescue a man attacked by the mob, who suspected him of signalling to the beseiged terrorists. Above, during the gun-battle, one police officer crawled through the kitchen window, picked up the girl, and carried her down a ladder into the arms of her father, an army major. For Sibel, pale-faced and shivering with fright, the ordeal was over. She was reported shock but unharmed and taken to a military hospital by ambulance.
For fatally-wounded terrorist Mabir Canay, it was almost over...he died on the way to hospital. His companion, Huseyin Cevahir, was also wounded. He survived, however, but troops bad to use rifles to fight off the angry crowd who were intent on killing him. Both men were believed to belong to the extreme left-wing Turkish People's Liberation Army. Police are still searching for two of their companions -- a man and a woman--who fled from the flat as the gunmen broke in -- to terrify a young girl and shock an entire nation.