A man carrying a gun hidden inside a loaf of bread was arrested Monday as he approached a bus that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was boarding, and a prosecutor said the suspect may have intended to shoot the premier.
Erdogan was climbing onto a bus after a speech opening the school year in Kutahya, in western Turkey, when security personnel noticed the man moving toward the vehicle and arrested him, the Anatolia news agency said.
“With regards to this suspect, the first evaluations give the impression that he was trying to assassinate our dear Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” prosecutor Mehmet Serif Eren was quoted as saying.
The suspect was in police custody and being questioned, Eren said.
Eren did not say what the suspect’s motives may have been, but private CNN-Turk television said the suspect approached Erdogan yelling, “Have you heard the news? Yesterday we gave up five martyrs.”
Five Turkish soldiers were killed Sunday in clashes with separatist Kurdish rebels.
The suspect was reportedly from Mersin, a Mediterranean port city that recently has been the site of clashes between pro-Kurdish demonstrators and Turkish forces.