Turkey: Ultra-nationalist figure targeted in armed attack

Turkey: Ultra-nationalist figure targeted in armed attack
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Gulaltay has survived the attack, which followed his tweets that implicated "agents inside MHP" of organizing the recent assassination of former Grey Wolves leader.

Days after former Grey Wolves leader was assassinated in Turkey, another ultra-nationalist figure was targeted in an armed attack near his house in Istanbul late Sunday.

While Semih Tufan Gulaltay survived the attack without injury, the assailants fled, and the bullets used in the attack were recovered by the police.

Gulaltay's office was earlier targeted in an armed attack in May, and one of the assailants was killed by Gulaltay's bodyguard.

Gulaltay said after the recent attack that a court ordered his bodyguard's release on Friday and it was indicative that he was targeted immediately afterwards.

The attack also followed Gulaltay's posts on social media in which he implicated "Gulenist agents" inside the far right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) of organizing the deadly attack against former Grey Wolves leader Sinan Ates on 30 December.

Gulaltay had been convicted of being involved in an armed attack on prominent human rights activist Akin Birdal in 1998 and of being a member of the shadow ultra-nationalist organization Turkish Revenge Brigade (TIT).

Birdal, former chair of the Human Rights Association (IHD) and former deputy, was attacked on 12 May 1998 by two assailants, who pulled their guns at the offices of IHD in Ankara and shot him several times, severely injuring him.

Gulaltay was arrested on 2 June 1998 over the charge of instigating the attack, and was subsequently sentenced to a prison term of 19 years for involvement in the attack and of being a member of TIT. The indictment alleged that Gulaltay was among the founders of TIT alongside Mahmut Yildirim, code name Yesil (Green), and a non commissioned army officer named Cengiz Ersever.

Yildirim, who had served as the agent and executioner of the notorious Gendarmerie Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism Department, is accused of many extrajudicial killings, and is at large since 1990s.

Gulaltay was released four and a half years later on probation.

According to many journalists, TIT is no more than a name that is used for claiming responsibility for deadly attacks by militants affiliated with MHP and its unofficial paramilitary youth wing Grey Wolves.