PKK Claims Responsibility for Killing of Suspected ISIL Fighter In Istanbul

ddddThe outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has claimed responsibility for the killing of an Istanbul man that had allegedly fought for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the latest reprisal from the group following the July 20 Suruç massacre.

Mürsel Gül, a soap salesman, was killed at 11 p.m. on July 21 in a set-up by suspected members of the PKK in the Karayolları neighborhood of Istanbul’s Sultangazi district. According to police, the perpetrators placed an order for soap, killing Gül with four bullets when he arrived with the products.

Gül, whose Twitter posts under the handle “selef ebu selef” praised ISIL and other Islamist causes, had connections to the jihadist group and had crossed back and forth between Turkey and Syria, according to police.

In an announcement claiming responsibility for the attack, the PKK’s youth wing, the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H), said Gül had fought for ISIL against the Kurdish-led People’s Defense Units (YPG) in northern Syria and had had an important position within the organization.

Gül returned to Turkey seven months ago for medical treatment, the statement said, adding that the PKK had been tracking the man for the past three months.

A number of Islamist Twitter users issued messages of condolence following news of Gül’s death.

The YDG-H has said it will kill a number of ISIL members in retaliation for the Suruç Massacre, in which suspected ISIL member Şeyh Abdurrahman Alagöz detonated himself in the garden of the Amara Cultural Center, killing at least 31 activists who had come with the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) to help rebuild Kobane, which lies directly across from Suruç in southeastern Turkey.

Meanwhile, masked members of the PKK also allegedly shot dead 33-year-old Ethem Türkben at his home on July 22 in the southern province of Adana on the grounds that he was an ISIL sympathizer.