REVISED HEADLINE, DECK, RE-EDITED THROUGHOUT; UPDATES WITH INFORMATION ON ALLEGED PERPETRATOR’S BROTHERS
By Idris Okuducu
ISTANBUL (AA) – The Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) said Thursday it had identified one of the gunmen who opened fire on an upscale restaurant in the city of Erbil, killing a Turkish diplomat.
Police shared a photo of the alleged attacker, Mazlum Dag, who was born in Diyarbakir, Turkey in 1992, and asked local residents to help turn him in.
Dersim Dag, one of Mazlum Dag’s brothers, is a deputy of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), a party Turkey's government has accused of having links to the PKK terrorist group.
Two of Mazlum Dag’s other brothers are affiliated with the PKK terror group -- Ibrahim Dag, codenamed Isyan, and Lutfi Dag, codenamed Numan -- security sources told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity, due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
The Turkish diplomat, who was serving at Turkey's consulate in Erbil, the KRG's capital, was martyred in the attack on Wednesday.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara that three gunmen attacked the restaurant.
He said that apart from the diplomat, the assailants also fired on two Iraqi nationals sitting at the next table, killing one and seriously wounding the other.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Cavusoglu said Turkey was in contact with Baghdad and Erbil regarding the incident and efforts were continuing to capture the attackers and discover the motive behind the attack.
*Writing by Maimaitiming Yilixiati and Gozde Bayar from Ankara