He told AFP it was not clear how many people were being held at the factory on the eastern outskirts of Turkey’s largest city.
The union representing the factory workers said the gunman had taken seven people hostage, adding that the rest of the factory workers had been released.
A P&G spokesman said the company employs 500 people in multiple shifts, meaning not all of them were working at the time of the attack.
“Today we evacuated our factory in Gebze and are working with local authorities to address the immediate security situation,” the company said in a statement to AFP, adding that it had no information on the attacker’s motive.
The safety of P&G employees and our partners is our top priority,” added the Cincinnati, Ohio-based company.
Private news agency DHA released a widely circulated photo online of the suspected gunman holding a gun and wearing what appeared to be a death vest strapped to his chest.
The man stood next to a drawing of the Palestinian flag and the words “for Gaza” written in red on the wall. AFP could not immediately verify the authenticity of this photo.
“It is true,” a police spokesman said when asked to confirm media reports that the attack was linked to the Gaza Strip.
Images from the scene showed police setting up a cordon around the huge factory, which mainly produces cosmetics.
Turkish media reported that special operations forces and medics were sent to the scene.
At least 27,019 people have been killed in the nearly four-month-long war between Palestinian militants and Israel, the health ministry in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip said on Thursday.
About 66,139 people have been injured in the Gaza Strip since Israel launched its offensive in response to an unprecedented attack by Hamas in southern Israel on October 7, the ministry said in a statement.
About 1,140 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the Hamas attack on Israel, according to official figures from the AFP news agency.
The militants also took about 250 hostages, and Israel says about 132 remain in the Gaza Strip, including the bodies of at least 28 dead captives.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has become one of the Muslim world’s most vocal critics of Israel over the massive casualties it has suffered in its retaliatory campaign against Hamas militants.
He has called Israel a “terrorist state” and compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler.