ANKARA, Turkey, Sept. 21 (UPI) — Turkish police wounded a knife-wielding man who attempted to enter the Israeli embassy in Ankara Wednesday.
The alleged attacker was identified as Osman Nuri Caliskan, 38, from Konya province in central Turkey. Ankara’s Hurryiet Daily News described him as a construction worker with possible mental issues.
Carrying a 12-inch knife and a bag, the attacker was heard shouting “I will change the Middle East” as he unsuccessfully attempted to attack the embassy’s security personnel and enter the embassy. He was shot in the leg by Turkish security police after he refused to follow police orders, the Ankara governor’s office said, adding the suspect has no known ties to any terrorist groups.
The Israeli foreign ministry reported all its Ankara personnel were safe.
The incident comes as Turkey and Israel attempt to resolve diplomatic differences and Turkey deals with an outbreak of attacks by Islamic extremists and Kurdish militants.
In August Turkey approved a deal to restore diplomatic relations with Israel after a 2010 incident in which Israeli military personnel raided a Turkish ship carrying activists attempting to break an Israeli blockade of Gaza. Ten people aboard the Turkish ship died.
In the past year Turkey has seen terrorist incidents at Istanbul’s airport and its tourist centers, as well as across the country, including at a wedding party near its border with Syria.