Turkish prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz, who is heading the inquiry into the death of teenager Berkin Elvan during anti-government protests in 2013, has been taken hostage by gunmen in Istanbul.
Dramatic images have emerged on social media of a gun being held to the head of Mehmet Selim Kiraz at a court house in Istanbul.
A banned Marxist revolutionary group is said to be behind the incident.
A statement posted online said Mehmet Selim Kiraz would be killed if their demands were not met.
Turkish special forces entered the court house, which was evacuated, and gunshots were heard from inside the building, Turkish news agencies reported.
City police chief Selami Altinok told reporters that negotiations with the hostage takers were under way.
“We are trying to resolve the issue without anyone being hurt,” he said.
The Turkish government has banned live TV coverage of the incident, citing security concerns.
Berkin Elvan, who was then 14, was struck in the head by a police tear gas canister in June 2013 as he went to buy bread during mass demonstrations that began in Istanbul and spread across Turkey.
After nine months in a coma Berkin Elvan eventually died in an Istanbul hospital.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inflamed passions shortly after Berkin Elvan’s death when he said the boy had been carrying a slingshot and had been “taken up into terrorist organizations”.
Suspected members of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) took the prosecutor hostage on the sixth floor of the Caglayan court house, reports said.
A website close to the group has published a series of demands, including calls for an immediate confession from police officers responsible for the boy’s death, and for an end to prosecutions of protesters charged over the clashes.
Berkin Elvan’s father appealed for the prosecutor to be freed: “My son is dead but let no-one else die.”
The DHKP-C is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and US. It said it carried out a suicide bombing in February 2013 at the US embassy in Ankara, where a security guard was killed.
Turkish Marxist group Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) has claimed it carried a suicide attack on the US embassy in Ankara on Friday.
DHKP-C said the “act of self-sacrifice” had targeted the US, which the group called “murderer of the people of the world”.
The bomber and a guard were killed in the attack at a side entrance of the heavily guarded compound.
The US has warned its citizens not to visit diplomatic missions in Turkey until further notice.
In an online statement the DHKP-C said: “Our warrior Alisan Sanli carried out an act of self-sacrifice on 1 February 2013, by entering the Ankara embassy of the United States, murderer of the people of the world.”
Turkey and the US have denounced the incident as terrorism.
A number of illegal groups ranging from Kurdish separatists to leftist and Islamist militants have launched attacks in Turkey in recent years.
Turkish Marxist group Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) has claimed it carried a suicide attack on the US embassy in Ankara on Friday
The US state department said a Turkish woman visiting the embassy had been seriously hurt and several staff members had suffered minor injuries.
The DHKP-C is designated a terrorist organization in the US and Europe.
The extreme-left group has been blamed for a number of attacks since the 1970s, including some on US diplomatic missions.
Turkish police carried out a series of raids on suspected members in January.
The embassy building is heavily protected but the US has had long-standing plans to move its compound elsewhere for security reasons.
It was recently reported to be in the final stages of a deal to choose an alternative location.