Gunman gives into after holding five hostages in eastern Turkey

VAN: A gunman gave himself up to the police after he held five people hostages while robbing a bank in the eastern province of Van on early Wednesday.

Reportedly, man named Veysel Yolcudag entered a bank in Tusba on Tuesday at around 4: 50 p.m. with a rifle and tackled a security guard and took his gun. Meanwhile, bank staff pushed the alarm button, alerting police. Police surrounded the bank and demanded the gunman to surrender.

One of Yolcudag’s relatives, a father of three, arrived at the scene, but failed to convince Yolcudag to come out. The gunman told journalists over the phone that he demands TL500,000 and a getaway helicopter or otherwise he will kill all ten hostages and himself. Several hours after he entered the bank, Yolcudag set free three hostages, including a pregnant woman. The hostage situation continues while police are trying to convince the assailant to surrender himself.

For nine and a half hours, security forces tried to persuade Yolcudag to give in. At around 2: 15 a.m. he was convinced and set all of the hostages free.

Van Police Chief Mahmut Karaaslan stated that the man gave no harm to any of the hostages. After a medical check at a hospital, Yolcudag was taken to the police station for interrogation.