World Bulletin / News Desk
The attack occurred just outside a courthouse when police officer Fethi Sekin stopped a suspicious vehicle, which turned out to be carrying explosives.
The ensuing clashes and a desperation car-bomb attack left Sekin and an office of the court killed and five others injured as a bigger blast involving another vehicle was thwarted, according to Governor Erol Ayyildiz.
"If they (extremists) had succeeded, our beautiful city of Izmir might have witnessed a major-scale disaster," Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said after landing in Izmir’s Adnan Menderes Airport to visit the scene and meet local officials.
“Our martyred hero, Officer Fethi Sekin, sacrificed his life without second thoughts, and prevented a much bigger calamity,” Yildirim said.
The prime minister said extremist organizations targeting Turkey, including the PKK – which is implicated in this attack – as well as ISIL and others, were “doing shift work”.
“These heinous extremist cells should take to heart that we will not be divided and we will not bow down,” he said. “Our country will overcome these days in unity, solidarity and unshakable determination.”
Turkey has suffered several extremist attacks over the last month. On Dec. 10, a twin bomb attack in Istanbul by the PKK group left 46 people -- mostly police officers – killed.
A week later, a suicide car bomb attack by the PKK hit a public bus in the central Anatolian city of Kayseri, killing 14 soldiers.
On Jan. 1, an armed attack on a nightclub in Istanbul during the New Year celebrations killed 39 people.