The Turkish press is reporting that the suicide bomber who attacked the US embassy today has been officially identified as Ecevit Şanlı, 30, a member of the outlawed Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C, Devrimci Halk Kurtuluş Partisi-Cephesi). A Turkish security guard, Mustafa Akarsu, 36, was killed, as was the attacker, and a civilian, Didem Tuncay, 38, seriously injured in the blast that destroyed the door of the guardhouse. The DHKP/C carried out a similar suicide attack on a police station in Istanbul’s Sultangazi district on Sept. 11, 2012, that killed a police officer and the attacker. Last year, several people were injured in another attack on a police station. (click here and here) The DHKP/C is anti-US and anti-NATO and has targeted Turkish security and military officials and foreign interests in Turkey, including businessmen, through suicide attacks and targeted assassinations.
Şanlı was jailed for participating in 1997 attacks on the Turkish National Police Headquarters building in Istanbul and Harbiye Officer’s Club. In 2000 he participated in a hunger strike by prisoners in the new F-type jails with individual cells (prisons previously had dormitory-style accommodations; the prisoners complained that it was easier to abuse isolated prisoners.) A number of hunger strikers died. Şanlı was released from prison in 2002 when he was diagnosed with Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. (click here, in Turkish)
The PKK also began as a Marxist-Leninist organization in the 1970s.