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Opposition party leader injured in knife attack in his Ankara office

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An unidentified assailant attacked an opposition party leader with a knife in his office in Ankara, Turkish media outlets reported.

The politician, Öztürk Yılmaz, leader of the Innovation Party (YP), was injured in the attack, losing a significant amount of blood, media reports said.

Yılmaz has been hospitalized at an Ankara hospital. The assailant fled the scene of the attack.

Also a former diplomat, Yılmaz was held hostage by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) for 101 days in 2014. He recently announced that he would run in next year’s presidential election, openly accusing the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of collaborating with the terrorist group.

Yılmaz, Turkey’s former consul general in Mosul, was taken hostage by the terrorist organization along with 48 staff members and dependents at the consulate after it was raided on June 11, 2014. All the hostages were released in October of the same year.

Yılmaz, who started his political career with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in 2015, was expelled from the CHP in 2018 and founded the YP, which he currently chairs, in 2020.

Yılmaz announced during a meeting with party members last month that he would stand as a candidate in Turkey’s 2023 presidential election, saying he wanted to “fight, settle old scores and completely change the system that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan established.”

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