Turkish police stop possible ramming attack on Israeli embassy

Turkish security forces fired on a tractor driver on Tuesday before the vehicle could mount an attack on the Israeli embassy in Ankara.

By Associated Press

Police in Ankara shot Tuesday the driver of a tractor that struck a series of cars in the Turkish capital and appeared headed for the Israeli embassy.

The driver, who ignored calls to stop and was shot in the leg, later told police he planned a protest outside the Israeli embassy, the state-run news agency reported.

The man, identified as a 45-year-old farmer, was eventually stopped in an area close to the Israeli ambassador’s residence. It was unclear whether the driver mistook the residence for the embassy.

The Ankara governor’s office said the man had been under treatment for psychological problems since 2007.

The Anadolu Agency said police guarding the parliament building fired warning shots into the air to stop the tractor on Ataturk Boulevard that is lined with government buildings and embassies. The report said the tractor continued on its way, hitting and crushing cars on the route.

The tractor was eventually stopped on a street some two kilometers away from the Israeli residence. The tractor crashed into parked cars before coming to a halt, according to an Associated Press journalist who rushed to the scene.

Anadolu said the man told police before being taking to hospital that he planned to stage a protest outside the Israeli embassy.

The Israeli ambassador returned to Israel in May following a diplomatic dispute between the two countries.