Slain Turkish Policeman Hailed For Preventing New Bloodbath

Slain Turkish policeman hailed for preventing new bloodbath

ISTANBUL, Jan 6, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 06th Jan, 2017 ) - Turkey gave a hero's funeral Friday to a policeman praised for preventing a massacre in the latest attack to shake the country, as reports suggested the Istanbul nightclub gunman may still be in the city.

Turkey was shaken just 75 minutes into the New Year by the gun attack on the Reina nightclub in Istanbul that killed 39 people, including 27 foreigners. Then four days later on Thursday, militants detonated an explosives-packed car in front of the main courthouse in the western city of Izmir and engaged in gun battles with police.

A policeman and a court worker were killed, as well as two attackers. Another was still on the run. Nine people were wounded but their lives are not believed to be in danger. Whereas Islamic State (IS) had claimed the Istanbul nightclub attack -- the group's first ever claim of a major attack in Turkey -- the government blamed the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) for the Izmir bloodshed.

Turkish officials led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hailed the heroism of slain Izmir policeman Fethi Sekin, who prevented even greater loss of life by stopping the car and then seeking to chase down the militants.

"Did you not see yesterday in Izmir our police officer who jumped like a lion to neutralise the terrorist and was martyred?" Erdogan asked during a rally Friday in Sanliurfa, southeastern Turkey.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim paid tribute late Thursday to the officer who "prevented a greater disaster by ignoring his own life and by giving his life." Turkish football team Galatasaray, which Sekin supported, said it would offer an educational scholarship to his son and other opportunities at the club.