ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish authorities detained 17 people in connection with an attack at an Istanbul campaign event for upcoming municipal elections, Turkey 's interior minister said Sunday.
Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya provided no details on the assailants' affiliation or motive for the attack that critically injured a woman.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at an election rally Sunday condemned the attack and praised police and prosecutors for working to apprehend additional suspects.
Saturday's attack took place as Aziz Yeniay, a mayoral candidate in Istanbul’s Kucukcemece district for the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, was visiting an association, the Turkish semi-official Anadolu Agency reported.
The 32-year-old woman was hit by gunfire and the attackers escaped in a vehicle.
Police said they were reviewing security camera footage and had found 17 spent shell casings at the site. Footage showed people firing from a white car before speeding away.
Turkey will hold municipal elections on March 31. Erdogan's ruling AKP hopes to retake many crucial cities and districts it lost to the opposition Republican People’s Party five years ago, including the country’s largest city, Istanbul, and capital, Ankara.
“We know that terrorism feeds off fear and panic,” Yeniay told reporters. “We will not give credence to this, we will not be afraid."