Belfast Telegraph

Polish dissident republican supporter arrested in Turkey

By James Rothwell

A British dissident republican supporter has been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of having "close ties" with a far-left militant group that left a prosecutor dead, reports say.

Stephan Shak Kacynski (52), a British national of Polish origin, is accused of having links with the banned leftist group DHKP-C, Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah reported.

Members of DHKP-C took a senior Turkish prosecutor hostage last week.

Prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz and the hostage takers were killed after a police shoot-out. In a statement, Republican Sinn Fein condemned the subsequent raids in which Kacynski was arrested.

The dissident republican party demanded the release of Kacynski and Cihan Keskek, a member of a political folk band.

"Comrades Cihan and Steve are close friends of the Republican Movement in Ireland," the party's international department said.

"Steve is a regular reader of the Republican monthly newspaper Saoirse. Only some weeks ago, Cihan and Steve met with a representative of Republican Sinn Fein.

"At every meeting between representatives of republican Sinn Fein and their political organisation that was attended by them, both showed a deep interest as well as a deep knowledge of the developments in Ireland, in particular the situation of the political prisoners held in Maghaberry jail."

Media outlets in Turkey claim Kacynski works for the German Federal Intelligence Service, BND.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "I can confirm that a British national has been arrested in Turkey and that we are offering consular assistance."

The DHKP-C is listed as a terrorist organisation by the US, EU and Turkey.

Two members of the DHKP-C and the prosecutor they held hostage inside a courthouse in Istanbul were killed after the shootout.

Police had negotiated with the gunmen for six hours before the violent end to the hostage situation, according to Istanbul police chief Selami Altinok.

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